State Sen. Michael Hastings lauded the passage of legislation aiming to expand mail-in voting in Illinois.
Hastings, D-Frankfort, argued the expansion would allow for Illinoisans to vote without compromising their health and safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a news release.
“Though the state of Illinois has made tremendous strides in flattening the curve, it is not realistic to expect everyone will be comfortable with going to the polls this November,” Hastings said in the release. “We had to take the health and safety of our people into account, and I feel we arrived at a commonsense solution to expand access to the ballot box.”
Under the bill, SB 1863, any person who has voted in the past two years in the 2018 general election, 2019 municipal election or the 2020 primary election, would receive an application for a vote-by-mail ballot in their mailbox, according to the release.
Citizens can fill out the application for a mail-in ballot and there will also be instructions for them to make a request for a ballot online.
Voters will also retain the choice to vote in person via early voting or on Election Day, which will be a state holiday for 2020.
“Those who feel comfortable voting in person should absolutely do so,” Hastings said in the release. “The point of this legislation is to simply ensure no one feels pressured into unnecessarily putting their personal health and safety at risk.”
The legislation went into effect with Gov. JB Pritzker's signature this week.