CONTACT: Treshonna Nolan
Spearheaded by Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia, Historic Electronic Voting Resolution Passes Chicago City Council
The Electronic Voting resolution is the first step in Clerk Anna Valencia’s Council Modernization Initiative Set to Bring Chicago City Council Into the 21st Century
[Chicago, IL] – Today, Chicago City Council passed a historic resolution introduced by City Clerk Anna Valencia, Alderwoman Michelle Harris, and Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot to allow for electronic voting (eVoting) in City Council Chambers. The resolution is part of Clerk Valencia’s Council Modernization initiative that aims to streamline the current legislative management system – creating a more efficient and effective council process.
"This is a historic day for Chicago’s City Council,” said City Clerk Valencia. “This is the first step towards our larger goal of creating a more efficient and accessible City Council. EVoting will not only benefit the members themselves; it will also give Chicagoans a clearer understanding of how their government works.”
This resolution achieves two things; it grants Aldermen the ability to electronically vote in Council Chambers, and the second piece establishes a set of guidelines when electronically voting.
"Electronic voting is a fast, sustainable and accessible solution to the challenges presented by traditional, paper-heavy voting methods," said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. "By implementing this voting method for City Council, we will be able to bring more efficiency and transparency to council processes. I commend Clerk Valencia on this huge step forward in modernizing and streamlining City Council procedures."
Valencia started this work in 2017 when her office convened a diverse group of individuals to gather feedback on how to improve the function, accessibility, and transparency of the City Council process. This included an internal Working Group comprised of Aldermen, representatives from the Mayor’s Office and various City departments. This also included an external Advisory Council made up of academic and community stakeholders. After securing the vendor, Electronic Knowledge Interchange (EKI), the groups worked collaboratively to bring eVoting to Chicago for the first time in the City’s history.
"It is an honor to co-sponsor this resolution with Clerk Valencia," said Michelle A. Harris, Chairman of the Committee on Committees and Rules. "EVoting transforms the way we work as a legislative body and is a significant step toward modernizing Chicago's City Council. I look forward to continuing this collaboration as we work to streamline the council process.”
Valencia’s entire Council Modernization initiative is broken into three phases, eVoting, to streamline the current voting process, being the first. The first phase will also include digital co-sponsorship and digital submission and tracking of legislation. Phase two will focus on moving the more paper-heavy committees, paperless and improving departmental data sharing. Lastly, phase three will include implementing language and ADA access and real-time eVoting for all committees.
Today's measure passed the City Council by a unanimous vote of 48-0 and is anticipated to take effect in March of 2022 with the launch of eVoting in Council Chambers.