Chicago organizations are pushing for federal voting law

CHICAGO (WLS) – Some Chicago organizations are urging Congress to take action on voting rights legislation.

“There have been many general messages about the importance of our democracy in these critical times. That lip service was not implemented, ”said Ami Gandhi, Senior Counsel at the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights.

In 2021, at least 19 states had 34 laws restricting access to voting. That’s more than any year since the bipartisan institute for law and politics, the Brennan Center for Justice, began prosecuting electoral law in 2011.

Karen Freeman-Wilson, President and CEO of the Chicago Urban League, believes the new laws will target colored voters.

“You will see that people don’t bother to vote because they think they can’t get in,” she said.

Mark Hansen, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago, said the dispute over voting rights was part of that country’s history.

“These were really important disputes in the immediate post-civil war period, when it was mostly African-Americans who got the vote,” he said.

Some of the same reasons for restricting voting have moved on, Hansen believes.

“Almost always the arguments in favor of restricting voting rights had to do with the possibility of electoral fraud,” he said.

“In Illinois, through programs like election day registration and automatic voter registration, we have seen that we can open up access to voter registration and still have a secure voting system,” said Gandhi.

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