Statement on Electoral Integrity
About This Program
ICIRR highlights the importance of trained staff and informed communities to protect the sanctity of the ballot and avoid voter suppression and electoral fraud
The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights believes that U.S. citizenship and voting are sacred trusts in our democracy. We are passionately committed to encouraging eligible legal permanent residents to learn English, become U.S. citizens, and as citizens exercise their right and responsibility to vote. We also believe passionately that the integrity of the ballot and the voter registration process must be protected from voter suppression, voter registration fraud, and voter fraud.
ICIRR launched the New Americans Democracy Project in 2004 in order to promote civic participation in the immigrant communities of Chicago and suburbs. Experienced staff, consultants and experts have provided the tools to assure that our electoral work is done with high standards for electoral integrity. Over the past 4 years we have registered 80,759 immigrants to vote without a single complaint from election officials.
ICIRR was created more than 20 years ago to protect immigrants and their families. We understand that any non-citizen who registers and votes is committing a federal felony, and put themselves at risk of both prison time and deportation. We go to extraordinary lengths to protect non-citizens from committing this horrible error.
Our experience is that a much more prevalent problem than voter fraud is violations of the Voting Rights Act that suppress the immigrant vote. We are very proud that, as a result of our work, last year the Kane County Clerk entered into a consent agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to properly abide with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act, including providing Spanish language ballots, election notices, and other voting materials, and ensuring Spanish language assistance at polling places, so that immigrant and Latino voters are properly included in our democracy.
ICIRR strongly believes in upholding the integrity of our democracy. We intend to continue our efforts to ensure that those who are eligible can register and vote; that those who are not eligible will not; and that our elections meet the highest standards of integrity that befit our nation.