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Voters approve two constitutional amendments

 Illinoisans overwhelmingly approved two amendments to the state constitution Tuesday night, voting to ban voter discrimination and extend additional rights to crime victims.

Both measures had more than 70 percent of the vote with 90 percent of the precincts reporting.

 The so-called Crime Victim’s Bill of Rights — also known as Marsy’s Law — will allow victims to submit impact statements and be notified of hearings, plea negotiations and prison releases.

 Supporters, including sitcom star Kelsey Grammer, say it is important to give victims a voice in the judicial process, but opponents have cautioned that the requirements could slow down the court system.

The other constitutional amendment explicitly bans voter discrimination based on race, color, ethnicity, language, nationality, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or income.  

Supporters say the law preemptively blocks any future attempts to curtail democratic participation, like the passage of a voter ID law.  Both constitutional amendments appeared on the ballot alongside a raft of non-binding advisory ballot questions, which also overwhelmingly passed.

 Voters were asked if the minimum wage should be increased, if insurers should be required pay for birth control, and if millionaires if should pay more taxes.