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Voting with a criminal record

Voting is a right all U.S. citizens share. However, different states may vary on how their citizens can exercise those rights, especially if they have a criminal record.

Some states require ex-convicts to wait until the end of their parole or probationary period. Others may withhold a felon’s voting freedoms based on the severity of their conviction. In other cases, states may grant former criminals voting rights automatically upon release.

How the rules apply in Illinois

Illinois is one of several states that allow offenders to vote immediately after release from prison, but their ability to cast a ballot may vary depending on their registration qualifications.

Voter registration requirements

These are the qualifications ex-convicts must meet if they wish to vote:

  • They must be a U.S. citizen.
  • They must be at least 18 years of age on the day of the election.
  • They must be living in the precinct where they will cast a ballot for at least one month before the election.
  • They cannot return to prison or jail before the election.
  • They cannot claim voter’s rights in another state.

Voting is a constitutional right…

As the 2020 elections are fast approaching, voters across the country are making sure they are registered to hit the polls. For those who were recently released from prison and have concerns regarding their ability to vote, an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney can answer any questions they may have.

Make sure you use it!

Everyone knows that voting at the national level is important, but your vote can make an even bigger impact at the state level and in your local district. It is the privilege and duty of every voting-able person to get to the polls as often as they can. It is how you voice your opinion and take an active role in democracy.