Illinois voters this fall will get to decide a pair of constitutional amendments on ballot protections and crime victim rights. The Senate voted today to put both questions on the Nov. 4 ballot. House Speaker Michael Madigan’s proposed constitutional amendment to protect voter rights says no person should be denied registration and voting rights based on race, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, language or income.
The measure seeks to counter a June 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that dislodged part of the 1960s-era federal Voting Rights Act and prompted eight states to attempt to restrict access to polling booths. The speaker has argued that voter photo identification laws have disproportionately affected minorities and the poor.
After today’s Senate vote, Democratic Senate President John Cullerton of Chicago said the measure would help ensure the state is “taking steps to be on the right side of history.”