DuPage County voters will decide ballot question on defunding police
Amid nationwide calls to defund the police, voters in DuPage County can make their voices heard by voting on two advisory referendums.
Across the nation and in Illinois, activists and protesters have advocated for defunding the police in the wake of police-involved deaths and injuries. DuPage County voters will have an opportunity to weigh in on the idea in November. Two county-wide advisory referendums address police funding:
“Shall DuPage County continue to consider financial support of law enforcement and public safety its top budgeting priority?”
“Shall DuPage County continue to fund and support training methods that decrease the risk of injury to officers and suspects for local law enforcement agencies?”
These ballot questions come at a time when protesters have clashed with police across the country and when some protests have given way to looting and violence, including in DuPage County. Whether and how to fund police has become a debate, with some advocates demanding municipalities defund police and redirect police funding to other services in the wake of allegations of police misconduct and racial discrimination.
These are advisory votes, so they will not carry the weight of law. Still, local advisory referendums are one way voters can make their preferences known.
The DuPage County Board will ultimately pass a budget, and whether board members continue to make public safety the top budgetary item or continue to fund the training referenced in the ballot proposition is ultimately up to them. But before DuPage County residents can tell the board what they think, they must register to vote.
How do I register to vote in Illinois?
There are a couple routes you can take to register to vote. Regardless, you must ensure you’re registered in a timely manner. Regular in-person registration is open year-round but ends on Oct. 6.
Online registration is available until 11:59 p.m., Oct. 18, on the Illinois State Board of Elections website. When filling out the registration form, the voter will need to input some personal information such as their driver’s license or state ID number, age, name and address.
To register by mail, you may print out this form from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and mail it to the Illinois State Board of Election at this address:
State Board of Elections
2329 S. MacArthur Blvd.
Springfield, IL 62704
For registration by mail in Illinois, valid identification could include a state-issued ID or a copy of a utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or another government document showing your name and address.
You will be required to submit identification with your mail-in form. If you do not submit the necessary identification, you will be required to show it in person when you vote, and you will not be eligible to vote by mail.
Additionally, mail-in registration forms must be postmarked by Oct. 6.
A person who is 17 may register to vote if they will turn 18 on or before Election Day, Nov. 3.
How do I register in person to vote?
If you miss the regular in-person, online or mail-in voter registration windows, you may also register in person during the “grace period” starting Oct. 7 and extending through Election Day.
Each county has designated locations where a person can register to vote. It is best to check out your local county clerk’s website or call their office to find a place near you. Typically, in addition to the county clerk’s office, you can register in person at city and village offices, public libraries, and locations that are set up as permanent and temporary voting locations.