Langdon D. Neal,
Richard A. Cowen,
Marisel A. Hernandez,
69 West Washington Street, Suites 600/800, Chicago IL 60602 ● 1.312.269.7900 ● fax 1.312.263.3649 ● TTY 1.312.269.0027
chicagoelections.com ● email: email@example.com
For Immediate Release For information, Jim AllenSeptember 15, 2011 312-269-7857
How to increase registrations and turnouts?
Community Forum: Let Voters Register on Election Day,Let Voters Cast Ballots Outside Home Precincts
More than 130 leaders of business, civic, community and student groups from across the city told theChicago Election Board Thursday to pursue a wide range of election reforms, including letting votersregister online or register on Election Day, letting people
use universal “vote centers”
outside theirhome precincts, and employing new technology, such as online voting for military/overseas voters.Those were just some of the recommendations that emerged from a Community Forum sponsored by
the Board of Election Commissioners as part of its “Voter Engagement 2012” initiative.
The goal of theproject is to identify measures that will increase voter registration and turnouts
for 2012 and beyond.Other ideas that
emerged ranged from promoting the concept that “it’s cool to vote” to requiring U.S.
citizens to register to vote as a condition of receiving their high school diplomas.
“Today, we received valuable information from civic
, community and student leaders about how toaddress our core mission: to register
voters and get people to participate in the elections,”
saidLangdon D. Neal, Chairman of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.
“We will put this
information to work, both internally, and to inform legislators about changes they may
At the forum, participants conducted 15 roundtable discussions on issues such as why it is important tovote and what barriers there are to registering and voting. Discussions later turned to possible reforms.At every stage, each table reported recommendations. Then lists of the suggestions were presented tothe entire forum, so that all persons could use electronic voting devices to identify which ideas theythought were the best.The recommendations for election
reforms that received the most “
” votes w
ere: changing the law toallow voters to register on Election Day and to allow online registration (22%); letting voters cast ballots
at “vote centers” open to any voter from any precinct (21%); allowing for online or phone
-based votingsystems (15%); educating youth about civic responsibilities (12%); and, in a related topic, mandatingcivics classes in schools (8%).