Election Reform

Voting & Coronavirus: Read Reform for Illinois’ statement calling for the state legislature to act now to send everyone a mail-in ballot in November.

Reform for Illinois is in the midst of a multi-year election reform project. In 2017, we surveyed election officials about the challenges they face in maintaining the integrity and efficiency of Illinois elections and the reforms they would like to see implemented. The survey results led us to create a report on Election Administration Best Practices and resulted in the enactment of our Voter Equipment Modernization Program, which Governor Rauner signed into law in July 2018.

We then turned to community advocates for their perspective on barriers to voting and on how new reforms being implemented around the country might be adapted to Illinois’ unique and diverse voter population. Based on their input, we drafted legislation that would expand voters’ options by:

  • Enabling voters to sign up to receive mail-in ballots automatically;
  • Providing for statewide mail-in ballot tracking so everyone could know their votes are counted;
  • Improving the coordination of voter outreach efforts to underserved populations, and
  • Providing for the state to develop remote access ballots for people with disabilities.

“Access, Technology, and Turnout: Enacting Voting Reform in Illinois”

In 2019, we hosted an election reform workshop for public officials, election authorities, community advocates, and experts in election administration and innovation to discuss best practices and emerging technologies in vote-by-mail and other voting options. Participants in our “Access, Technology, and Turnout” event included Cook County Clerk Karen Yarborough and representatives from the Chicago Board of Elections, Chicago Votes, the Spanish Community Center, Democracy Works, the National Vote at Home Institute, the Center for Technology and Civic Life, and more.

  • View presentations from the “Access, Technology, and Turnout” workshop here.
  • View handouts and participant bios here.

Reform for Illinois is committed to exploring new options for ensuring the broadest possible access to voting in our state, particularly as the COVID-19 virus threatens to disrupt traditional voting methods.

Visit our Legislative Initiatives page to read more about our election reform and other recent legislation.

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