Plan for prisoners’ voting rights vetoed

Local News
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ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a plan which would have helped more people vote while in jail.

He says he supports the idea, in theory, but some mandates went too far. It’s a massive disappointment for those who supported it.

Rauner did keep part of the bill where anyone sitting in jail awaiting trial will be able to access voter information and a ballot, but deleted a rule stating counties should give people leaving jail resources explaining their voting rights.

He argues it’s not the county’s job and sheriff departments aren’t cut out to do it. Groups like the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association argued it didn’t have enough resources to meet new standards.

The Sangamon County clerk, who testified at a hearing when it was first introduced, says there are still ways to get the information to people without burdening small local governments.

Those who supported the plan argue many people aren’t aware their voting rights are restored once they leave jail or prison. They believe it will help 20,000 people who’ve been detained before trial vote.

The original legislation did not pass with a veto-proof majority, but groups like the ACLU are urging lawmakers to try to override the governor’s decision.

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