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It’s just a bill

Tuesday, Jun 22, 2021

* Kevin Bessler at The Center Square

Senate Democrats are making a push to give undocumented immigrants the opportunity to vote in school board elections.

The proposal could require the State Board of Education to create an affidavit helping non-citizens register for school board elections. Current bill language requires potential voters to verify they are a parent, legal guardian or caregiver of a student. They must also live within the boundaries of a school district and intent to stay there until the next school board election.

The bill’s sponsor, Celina Villanueva, D-Chicago, said families should have the opportunity to play a bigger role in shaping their child’s future.

“For too long, these families have been systematically excluded from participating in our democracy even at the most basic level,” Villanueva said.

Thomas Bride, spokesman for the Illinois Association of County Clerks and Recorders said the change would create chaos.

“The association has some real concerns about introducing the non-citizen voting into the school board elections primarily from a process point,” Bride said. “The elections are complicated in Illinois.”

Tazewell County Clerk John Ackerman has been joined by a bipartisan group of 20 county clerks in opposition to the measure.

“If this law should pass, even if Tazewell County would have no non-citizen voters, my office would be required to prepare for the chance that non-citizens would request a ballot each election,” Ackerman said in a statement. “As such, we have estimated the cost of the minimum paper ballots at each polling location, preparation for over 150 different ballot styles with Tazewell County, equipment preparation and other administrative tasks to be $15,000 to $30,000 each election.”

Ackerman said he is also concerned about a violation of the current Voter Registration Fraud Prevention procedures.

“We currently require voters to provide two forms of identification, one of which has the current address they are residing and one a photo identification so we can verify the individual is voting in the appropriate election district,” said Ackerman. “This new proposal would remove that physical proof and require just a statement on an affidavit that they reside with the district they wish to vote in.”

The Senate Human Services Committee expects to host several hearings on the proposal before a vote.

Sponsors said they are willing to work with stakeholders to address concerns and make a stronger bill.

The bill is here.

And while it’s just a bill with almost no chance of passage, we can probably expect an enormous amount of publicity about it. Thank Mayor Lightfoot for the idea.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

12 Comments
  1. - Wow - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 11:02 am:

    Stupidity runs rampant in the Capitol.


  2. - Edyrdologist - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 11:14 am:

    Never understood the argument against non-citizens voting besides simple prejudice. If you make a life for yourself in a community (and, it should be noted, many non-citizens contribute more to their community than their citizen neighbors), you should have some say in how that community is run. Probably not going anywhere in the current climate but good on Villanueva for putting the issue out there.


  3. - TNR - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 11:18 am:

    This was the poison pill the mayor wanted placed in the elected school board bill. The advocates (being a quite a bit more politically savvy than the mayor) kept it out, knowing it would have doomed the bill.


  4. - Asteroid of Caution - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 11:27 am:

    Odds of Mayor Lightfoot showing up at one of these hearings to testify in support of the idea she was momentarily adamant about?


  5. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 11:28 am:

    We need to make more people full citizens not carve out piecemeal privileges like this to favored groups.


  6. - cermak_rd - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 1:08 pm:

    I’m actually going to agree with the city clerks here. Voting in elections that are run by the county clerks is a perk of citizenship.

    On the other hand, I have absolutely no problem with a plebiscite run by CPS that elects school board members. Then they can set the eligibility however they want, the people don’t need to be afraid of interacting with an unfamiliar layer of government (since they are already by definition interacting with CPS) and these positions are all about CPS anyway.


  7. - Mary - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 1:30 pm:

    Okay by me. Immigrants are generally sensible when it comes to their kids. Far less woke than privileged whites who now run the show. Immigrants’ votes will help our schools, FULL STOP.


  8. - Louis G Atsaves - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 1:31 pm:

    Are non-citizens allowed to vote in other countries during their elections? In some countries a dual citizenship exists, but I have yet to run across any other country enlightened enough to allow non-citizens to vote for any public office.


  9. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 1:43 pm:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kramer_v._Union_Free_School_District_No._15

    You can’t restrict voting in school board elections to only parents.


  10. - anon2 - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 3:33 pm:

    Another Lightfoot proposal will bite the dust.


  11. - Frank talks - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 4:14 pm:

    Guessing Darreb Bailey is going to use this on the rounds this weekend?


  12. - Out of Illinois - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 5:21 pm:

    Part of the privilege of being a US citizen is the right to vote in elections. Non citizens do not and should not have that right.


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