Voting booth

SPRINGFIELD – Following through on her commitment to provide greater accessibility for all Illinois voters, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) championed a newly signed law to allow people with certain disabilities to electronically mark their ballots using their own assistive technology.

“While we have expanded vote by mail in many ways, we have yet to provide the same opportunities to voters who cannot read print because of a visual, physical, perceptual, developmental, cognitive or learning disability,” Morrison said. “Equal access at the voting box is a keystone to our democracy. The inclusion of this process into state law will provide safe, private and equal voting opportunities for voters.”

The law will allow voters with a print disability to receive and mark their ballot electronically on an assistive device. It will be printed, sealed and signed before being returned through the mail. The voting procedure will be in place for the November 2022 General Election, and all subsequent elections.

“For years, Illinois law required voters with print disabilities who chose to vote by mail to fill out a paper ballot, necessitating assistance by a person without a disability.” said Cheryl Jansen, Public Policy Director of Equip for Equality.  “As a result, unlike voters without disabilities, they were denied the right to vote privately and independently.  SB 829 is a very important step towards addressing this disparity.  We highly commend Senator Morrison for her leadership and support of this legislation and look forward to working with her on additional steps to ensure that voters with print disabilities have full privacy and independence when voting by mail.”

Senate Bill 829 was signed into law Friday.