votebymail2 052220

SPRINGFIELD - A measure championed by State Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek) to help voters participate safely in the November 2020 General Election passed the Illinois Senate Friday.

“There’s no guarantee that voters won’t still be at risk for contracting COVID-19 when they come to the polls in November,” Link said. “We have a responsibility to put measures in place to keep them safe.”

Senate Bill 1863 expands Illinois’ vote-by-mail program for the 2020 General Election. Under the legislation, anyone who has voted in the last two years will receive a vote-by-mail application. Voters registering online may also automatically request a vote-by-mail ballot rather than having to apply. 

The measure also establishes Election Day, November 3, 2020 as a holiday for Illinois schools and universities. Some schools and universities will be used as polling locations and will be properly cleaned before students and staff return. 

The legislation also allows election authorities to establish a curb-side voting program and extends early voting hours at polling locations.

“If this virus is still present in the fall, we could see a lot of people staying home from the polls,” Link said.  “This legislation will help ensure everyone has a way to exercise their democratic right.”

Senate Bill 1863 passed the Senate 37-19. It now heads to the governor’s desk.

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