Rallying for Pre-Trial Detainees’ Right to Vote

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On Election Day 2021, New Day Employment Network’s Speak Up & Vote committee organized a rally supporting Senate Bill 2090. This Illinois law grants pre-trial detainees the right to vote, but the Will County Sheriff’s Department has failed to uphold it. Our rally demanded action to ensure pre-trial detainees can exercise their rights.

The Issue: Denied Representation

Senate Bill 2090, passed in 2021, explicitly grants pre-trial detainees the right to vote. But the Will County Jail has not established procedures to facilitate voting among detainees. On major election days, not a single ballot makes it to those detained.

This effectively denies pre-trial detainees representation, violating the law. Many detainees are held for months without conviction, yet cannot access the ballot box.

Rallying for Justice on Election Day

To protest this injustice, our Election Day rally brought media attention to the issue. We demonstrated during the lunch hour outside Will County Jail, calling on officials to enforce SB2090. Allowing an entire group to be denied suffrage damages our democracy.

Voting rights apply universally in a just society. those detained pre-trial maintain the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. They deserve opportunities to vote for representation that aligns with their needs and values.

Calling for Lasting Change

Our passionate rally informed the community about this overlooked issue. But a single event is not enough – we will continue applying public pressure until pre-trial detainee voting rights are honored. The jail must establish consistent, organized vote-by-mail processes.

With enough visibility and persistence, we can compel real change. Voting eligibility should never depend on one’s race, class, or conviction status. Our democracy thrives when all voices are heard.

Our Cause, Our Choice

This rally was just one chapter in the ongoing struggle for justice. We will continue fighting until pre-trial detainee suffrage is a reality. When people unite to demand reform peacefully but firmly, progress becomes inevitable.

This is our story, our cause, our choice. Civic action brings light to invisible injustices, helping create a more perfect union. Our rally moved us one step closer on the path to universal voting rights.

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