National Voter Registration Day kicks off with Celebration of the Passage of Automatic Voter RegistrationSeptember 26, 2017
Today ICIRR joined Chicago Votes, Cook County Clerk David Orr, Chicago Votes, the Just Democracy Illinois Coalition, Common Cause Illinois, Next Generation Illinois Youth Coalition, Chicago Lawyers’ Committee, Harold Washington College, and Young Invincibles to celebrate National Voter Registration Day. Coming off this year's legislative victory winning Automatic Voter Registration, voting rights proponents urged all who have not signed up to vote to register today.
Since 2004, ICIRR has registered new voters 210,636. Today, ICIRR staff delivered more than 1000 new voter registrations forms from newly sworn-in citizens. Celina Villanueva, New American Democracy Project/ Youth Engagement Manager at ICIRR spoke at the event, her remarks follow:
"Our work at ICIRR is about empowering immigrant and refugee communities, and particularly our young people. And during such a tumultuous time in our nation’s history, we can’t forget the importance of asserting our rights, particularly the one that we’re celebrating today, the right to vote.
While it seems like every day there is something that is turning the world upside down, there is much that we can do to fight for our communities. We cannot be silent during times of injustice, we can’t be silent against the threats made to our communities or other marginalized communities. It is imperative to have our voices heard, and one way of doing this is by asserting our right to vote.
So while we are here, as a demonstration of our continued commitment to empowering immigrant and refugee communities, ICIRR will be submitting 1043 voter registrations of new american citizens to the Cook County and Chicago boards of elections today! The work of registering eligible citizens to vote is pivotal to our organization and to having the voices of immigrant communities heard. But don’t worry our work doesn’t stop here.
As a member of the Just Democracy coalition, several of the members of which are here today, we will also continue to work hard to strengthen and broaden our democracy to be more inclusive of different voices by building upon the laws the coalition has help to make a reality in Illinois like Online Voter Registration, Election Day Registration and most recently Automatic Voter Registration.
So for those of you that are eligible but not registered, today is your day! Take the 2.5 minutes to get registered. Happy National Voter Registration Day everyone."