Chicago, IL – Last week, the Democratic Party of Illinois filed a friend of the court brief in a Republican challenge attempting to prevent the counting of mail-in-ballots received after Election Day. The original challenge, brought by Congressman Mike Bost and two 2020 Trump electors, was rejected by the District Court, and they have now appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The Republican National Committee is backing the appeal despite “promoting a ‘bank the vote’ program to get Republicans to pledge to vote by mail,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
Current Illinois statute protects voters by ensuring that mail ballots that are timely cast will not be thrown out due to postal delays or other circumstances outside of voters’ control. The lawsuit could invalidate thousands of mail-in ballots, including those of military members serving overseas, if they are postmarked on or before Election Day but received after.
DPI’s brief urges the court to affirm the district court’s decision that the plaintiffs lack standing to bring this case and their claims fail on the merits.
“Republicans will stop at nothing to roll back our voting rights and suppress the voices of Illinoisans, including the brave men and women serving in active military duty, because they know it’s their only hope for winning elections with their losing records and disastrous agendas. The Democratic Party of Illinois is committed to always defending our values and our fundamental rights against attacks from extremists, and this case is no exception. Safeguarding the right to vote is foundational to a strong and functional democracy. It is fundamentally un-American and antidemocratic for Republicans to continue their attempts to silence Illinoisans when the will of voters is not on their side,” said DPI Chair Lisa Hernandez.
As attacks on voting rights and unsubstantiated claims of fraud continue to marr our elections, Illinois’ Democratic leaders have taken steps to expand voting access, protect voters, and secure elections. Governor JB Pritzker and leaders in the General Assembly successfully expanded voting protections by making election day a state holiday, establishing permanent vote by mail registries, increasing access to curbside voting, establishing a central polling location in counties across the state, extending hours at permanent polling places, strengthening cybersecurity standards for election authorities in Illinois, and providing viable voting opportunities for justice-impacted individuals.