"Ensuring Safe and Secure Elections during COVID-19," a live interview with Matt Dietrich, spokesperson for Illinois State Board of Elections was held on May 20th, 2020. You can view a recording of this event here.
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging the informed and active participation of citizens in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy. Our area in Illinois includes Aurora, Montgomery, North Aurora, Oswego, Sugar Grove, and surrounding communities.
New Illinois Elections Law provides for Voting by Mail
On June 16th, 2020, the governor signed a new elections law. Safety concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic were the impetus for this law. (The provisions in the law are repealed as of January 1, 2021.)
There are two primary provisions:
The application process to vote by mail:
All local election authorities must send (by regular mail or email) ballot APPLICATIONS (not ballots) to all persons who voted in any of the most recent three elections (the 2018 general election, the 2019 consolidated election, or the 2020 general primary election), including voters who registered or changed their addresses after the 2020 general primary election.
However, all voters are urged to apply for a mail-in ballot online as soon as possible in July to save time and resources, and to help ensure a smooth and timely process (see county links, below). Voters must apply for ballots in their county of residence. Voters will receive their official ballot no earlier than September 24th, 2020, and not later than October 6th, 2020.
If a voter applies for a ballot after October 2nd, 2020, the ballot must be mailed to the voter no later than two business days after the election authority’s receipt of the application.
Links to use to apply for ballots in the Aurora Area:
Election Day will now be a holiday in Illinois for schools, state employees, and local government offices (except election authorities). This will allow schools to safely serve as polling places on Election Day if needed.
Election authorities must establish a central voting site where anyone in the jurisdiction can vote on Election Day, regardless of their precinct. *These locations will be posted on our Voting Information page when they are determined by the counties.
Curbside voting is permitted under the law but not required. At least two election judges for the polling place (one from each party) must be designated per vehicle, and Illinois Department of Public Health guidance must be followed. *These locations will be posted on our Voting Information page if they are made available by the counties.
Early voting hours at polling places will be expanded at permanent polling places to help prevent overcrowding for those voting in person. These expanded hours are 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.
Do you want to register to vote in Illinois or have you moved since the last election? Register to vote with the Illinois Online Voter Registration form. It is easy to do! Not sure if you're already registered? You can confirm your registration here.
*The LWVAA chapter will post further information about these changes as it becomes available. Please ask any questions you have as comments on the chapter’s Facebook page or send an email to our League and we will do our best to get answers for you.