Equality Illinois pushes voter registration

Wed. September 1, 2010 7:29 PM by GoPride.com News Staff

The November general election is seen as a crossroads for LGBT rights

Chicago, IL - With the Nov. 2 general election fast approaching, Equality Illinois is working hard to ensure the state's gay and lesbian population is registered to vote in what is considered an important election for LGBT rights in Illinois.

The Illinois gay rights advocacy group first encourages residents to confirm they are registered to vote through the State Board of Elections website.

For those eligible voters needing to register, a Voter Registration card is available online. After completing the card, Equality Illinois has made available a Deputy Registrar to pick up the form. To request an Equality Illinois Deputy Registrar, call Caroline Staerk at 773-477-7173. Oct. 5 is the last day for registration of voters by deputy registrars for the November general election.

Equality Illinois also plans a massive statewide get-out-the-vote effort through September and October.

"I think this is one of the most important elections ever, because the choices for our community are markedly different. We have a guy who opposed fairness and equality and a guy who spent his entire career standing up for all Illinoisans," public policy director for Equality Illinois, Rick Garcia told ChicagoPride.com on Aug. 8. "He [Quinn] wins or we better forget about any decency or fairness for the next four years."

Garcia's comment was about Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and the significant differences between Quinn and his Republican opponent, state Sen. Bill Brady, on issues of importance to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Quinn remains solid in his support of civil unions legislation, yet has failed to show support for full marriage equality. Quinn says he will sign civil unions legislation. 

Brady not only opposes same-sex marriage and civil unions, but he favors an amendment to the Illinois constitution banning equal marriage rights for LGBT citizens. Brady has said he would veto any civil union legislation.

Equality Illinois Political Action Committee has endorsed Quinn's campaign.

The race for one of Illinois' two U.S. Senate seats is also seen as important. Illinois Treasurer and Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate Alexi Giannoulias is running against Republican Congressman Mark Kirk.

Giannoulias is seen as an ally for LGBT rights. Kirk, who is seen as a political moderate, supports the controversial ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy and opposes marriage equality.

Related: Read CP's interview with Rick Garcia