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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 29, 2008

Governor Blagojevich Urges Notification of Voting Rights to Illinoisans Displaced by Foreclosure
Letter sent to Illinois State Board of Elections, urges action and public notice to residents who have filed for a change of address

CHICAGO – In a push to make sure no citizen loses their vote in November, Governor Rod Blagojevich today urged the Illinois Board of Elections to seek out and notify eligible Illinoisans of their voting rights if they have lost their homes through foreclosure.  According to the New York Times more than one million Americans have lost their homes through foreclosure in the last two years, and many of them are still registered to vote at the address of their previous home.
 
“The foreclosure crisis in our state has many devastating consequences, which is why we need to do everything possible to lessen and ease the impact on families.  Proactive steps are needed, such as informing these Illinoisans of their options with respect to voting,” wrote Gov. Blagojevich.  “I urge the Board of Elections take appropriate, but quick, steps to ensure that those Illinoisans who have regrettably been uprooted due to a foreclosure action on their homes be apprised of their voting rights, and advised on the steps they should step to make sure they can vote in the upcoming election.”
 
In a year of a high expected voter turnout, there is concern that voters are not properly informed of how to update their addresses if they have moved. In the turmoil of their foreclosure, a number of these voters could be disqualified at the polls if they neglected to inform the election board of their new address. 
 
In order to vote in the November 4th election, the last day for voters to update their address with the Illinois Board of Elections is October 7, 2008. Voters who have recently moved or will be moving soon and have not yet notified the Illinois Board of Elections of their new address have the following options to vote in the November election:
 
  • Voters who moved within 27 days of the election in the same precinct can vote a full ballot by signing an affidavit.
  • Voters who moved more than 30 days before the election within the same election jurisdiction, but outside of their precinct, and did not transfer their registration can vote on a ballot for federal offices only after completing an address correction form. 
  • Voters who moved within 30 days before the election outside of their precinct, but still live in the state, and did not transfer their registration, can vote a full ballot in their old polling place after completing an affidavit.
 
“I encourage you to publicize these options and provide public notice to residents who have filed for a change of address but who have not updated their voter registration the steps they must take in order to vote this November, including provisional voting and early voting rights and procedures,” wrote Governor Blagojevich.
 
The full text of the Governor’s letter is below:
 
Dear Board of Elections Members:
 
I am writing to urge the Board of Elections take appropriate, but quick, steps to ensure that those Illinoisans who have regrettably been uprooted due to a foreclosure action on their homes be apprised of their voting rights, and advised on the steps they should step to make sure they can vote in the upcoming election.
 
The foreclosure crisis in our state has many devastating consequences, which is why we need to do everything possible to lessen and ease the impact on families.  Proactive steps are needed, such as informing these Illinoisans of their options with respect to voting.
 
I encourage you to publicize these options and provide public notice to residents who have filed for a change of address but who have not updated their voter registration the steps they must take in order to vote this November, including provisional voting and early voting rights and procedures.
 
In addition, please work with your poll workers to ensure that they are fully informed and able to articulate to voters all options available.  Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter.
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Rod R. Blagojevich
Governor


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