New law makes it easier for nursing home residents to vote

January 7, 2019
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As state lawmakers return to Springfield, state Rep. Camille Lilly is promoting a new law that extends voting access to long-term residents of hospitals and mental institutions.

“Despite being a principle this nation was founded on, there are still rigorous limitations to voting for some people to participate in their democracy,” Lilly said in a statement. “This new law will create a streamlined process to ease people’s ability to vote at the health care institution where they reside in Illinois.”

House Bill 2477 – which took effect last week and will be in place for the Feb. 26 local election – provides a streamlined process for people to vote in a hospital or mental health institution where they have lived for at least 180 days, by allowing residents to change their voting address to the address of their residential health care facility.

Problems have arisen with out-of-state residents of Illinois facilities being unable to vote in their home state, which was the impetus behind the new law. Lilly supported the measure to improve voting access for people in need of physical and mental health care and ensure that their votes are counted.

“We need to be consistently finding ways to make voting accessible for everyone,” Lilly said. “This includes maximizing the options available to those who are unable to vote in person, so they can still exercise this fundamental right of citizenship.”

Hundreds of other laws took effect Jan. 1, including a number pushed by Austin Rep. La Shawn Ford and found here.

In all, more than 250 new laws took effect last week, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Here’s a summary of the new laws compiled by the Illinois staff of National Public Radio.

As the new legislative session starts in Springfield, Lilly said she’s seeking local residents’ ideas for new progressive legislative proposals.

“There are limitless ideas we can come up with, and I want to hear from my constituents on their plans that we can implement,” Lilly said in a statement. “Illinois only gets better when we work together and address the problems we face each day.”

Residents may submit their ideas to Lilly’s office by calling (708) 613-5939 or emailing

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