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Wed Jul 1, 2020, 08:03 PM

Voting in Illinois is a State Holiday this year and vote-by-mail is extended

Pritzker signs vote-by-mail expansion, declares Election Day a state holiday

By Jerry Nowicki
Capitol News Illinois
Updated 6/16/2020 8:23 PM

SPRINGFIELD -- Anyone who cast a ballot in the last three years or who registered to vote or changed addresses after the March primary will be sent an application to vote by mail in the Nov. 3 election.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill expanding the program Tuesday. In a news release, Pritzker's office said the program is aimed at ensuring "safe and active participation in the 2020 general election during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic."

The measure also expands early voting hours at permanent polling places and makes Election Day a state holiday.

Local election authorities must mail or email the applications to voters who cast a ballot in the 2018 general election, the 2019 consolidated election or the 2020 general primary election, as well as to voters who registered or changed addresses after the March primary. Any eligible voter who submits an application by Oct. 1 will receive their ballot by Oct 6.

"Sending vote-by-mail applications to residents who have participated in recent elections will allow more people to exercise that right from the safety of their own homes and help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities," Pritzker said in the release.

Making Election Day a state holiday affects government offices, except election authorities; K-12 schools; and postsecondary institutions governed by the State Universities Civil Service Act. The state had already established Election Day as a holiday for state employees.

The changes were backed by the House Democratic Women's Caucus and sponsored by Rep. Kelly Burke, an Evergreen Park Democrat and Sen. Julie Morrison, a Lake Forest Democrat.


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