vote by mail

SPRINGFIELD A safer way to turn in vote-by-mail ballots may soon be on its way to counties across the state after a measure by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) to implement more secure drop boxes passed the General Assembly Thursday.

“We should make it simpler to vote – even in a non-COVID world,” Morrison said. “Everyone should have a safe and secure way to cast their ballot.”

House Bill 1871 would allow election authorities to establish permanent ballot drop boxes to accept vote-by-mail ballots.

One of every three votes cast during the November 2020 General Election was cast via a mail ballot – but many of those were hand-delivered to drop boxes.

Morrison introduced the legislation after she heard concerns from some voters who weren’t comfortable with mailing their ballots. They wondered if the ballots would be delivered on time, if they would be lost in the mail and if they needed stamps – among other concerns. With this measure, many voters will have an additional way to safely cast their ballots.

“This is one more step to ensure people can safely exercise their right to vote,” Morrison said. “I will continue to fight to make it easier for voters’ voices to be heard — especially at a time when so many are relying on their elected officials for help.”

The measure also allows election authorities to establish curbside voting for individuals to cast a ballot during early voting or Election Day. Curbside voting could help people who are disabled vote at polling locations that are not as accessible as they should be.

The measure passed both chambers and now heads to the governor’s desk for final approval.