Il House approves measure preventing voter suppression

Apr 9, 2014

The Illinois House has approved a proposal to add protections for voting rights to the Illinois Constitution. IPR'S Brian Mackey has more.

The measure is sponsored by House Speaker Michael Madigan himself. In explaining why he thinks it's necessary, he recalled the federal Voting Rights Act, and the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision to "modify" parts of that law.

"And that modification by the Supreme Court has apparently brought on efforts in other states to enact legislation that some of us would consider to be voter suppression," says Madigan.

Madigan says that includes voter ID laws. The speaker, who presides over a large Democratic majority, acknowledged he's not aware of any Illinoisan being denied the right to vote because of his race or any other characteristic.

"Some might say: 'Well today in Illinois, you don't need this. Voter suppression wouldn't happen in Illinois.' Well we don't know that. We don't know what the future holds."

The measure passed the House overwhelmingly, 109 to 5. If approved by the Senate, voters would have the final say on whether to change the Constitution at this fall's election.