Help Restore Voting Rights to People in Prison!

It’s time to restore voting rights to community members in prison.

When people in prison cannot vote, influence policy, or hold elected officials accountable, things like inhumane prison conditions, problematic judges, and “tough-on-crime” policies persist more easily.

Felony disenfranchisement is a relic of the Jim Crow era. Today in Illinois, 55% of people in prison are Black despite Black people making up only 15% of the state’s overall population. Disenfranchising people in prison silences community members, without making anyone safer.

House Bill 39 (formerly Senate Bill 828), Voting in Prison, restores voting rights to people incarcerated in Illinois prisons, post-conviction. If passed, House Bill 39 (HB39) would make Illinois the first state to restore voting rights to people in prison, joining Maine, Vermont, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico as places in the U.S. that allow incarcerated citizens to vote.

Voting in Prison, was called on the House floor on October 28, 2021, and received 57 votes, just three short of the 60 votes needed to pass. Illinois State Representative Ford used a parliamentary maneuver to “postpone” the vote, and we plan to push for this bill’s passage during the 2022 Veto Session. 

Send a Tweet to Support Voting in Prison!

The lives of people in prison are influenced by policies made by elected officials and those who are elected are held accountable by their constituents. Help us restore the right to vote for people in prison to hold elected officials accountable with #HB39 bit.ly/SupportHB39

In 2019, SB2090 was successfully passed, ensuring eligible voters in jail have access to the ballot. Now IL is going even further, pushing to restore the right to vote to people in prison. Help us enfranchise over 30,000 people with #HB39 bit.ly/SupportHB39

NOW is the time to tell our lawmakers to support #VotingInPrison #HB39! Just type in your address and VOILA!!! Your lawmaker is asked to support a more inclusive democracy! bit.ly/SupportHB39 

Join the Unlock Civics Coalition

Over 80 organizations across the country have signed on in support of House Bill 39, Voting in Prison. Organizational support has looked like hopping on a bus to advocate down in Springfield, sharing updates with members, phone banking, and more.

If you are interested in joining our advocacy efforts, please complete the form linked below.

We put out a simple request to our community members in Illinois prisons: Tell us why Illinois should pass House Bill 39, Voting in Prison. The responses have been outstanding

Individuals ranging between the ages of 18-35 make up the largest demographic of incarcerated citizens.

Learn more about the impact of felony disenfranchisement on young Illinoisans.

House Bill 39 Fact Sheet

Community Literature

House Bill 39 Refresher

It’s bigger than us.

“Voting is one of the most fundamental rights we have as citizens. Being sentenced to prison should not mean being excluded from a democracy that is supposed to represent all people.” -Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch

“When we exclude people from our democracy, we allow for their needs to go unheard. Silencing those directly impacted by incarceration only perpetuates further injustice.” – John Legend