The Will County Clerk’s Office announced this week it will send vote-by-mail applications to every registered voter in the county in the coming weeks for the November general election.
A registered voter can fill out the application and mail it back to the clerk’s office if they wish to be sent a ballot for the Nov. 3 election. This vote-by-mail option is being made available so voters won’t have to fill out a ballot in person amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The applications will arrive at homes in clearly marked envelopes that also contain personalized voter registration cards, according to a news release. Registered voters will need to sign their pre-filled applications and send them back to the Will County Clerk’s Office to receive their ballot.
The clerk’s office said voting by mail is a “safe and secure” way to cast a ballot without personally visiting a polling place on Election Day or during early voting in the weeks prior to Nov. 3.
State lawmakers passed a bill to require clerks to send vote-by-mail applications to every registered voter in their county.
“My staff and I are working tirelessly to make certain that it is quick and convenient to submit these applications so that registered voters can receive their ballots through the mail,” Will County Clerk Lauren Staley Ferry said in the release. “With the potential for a second wave of COVID-19 later this year, we cannot have a situation in which our citizens must choose between their health and their right to vote.”
The new law also expanded early voting hours at permanent polling places, improves the signature verification process and makes Election Day a state holiday for 2020, according to Gov. JB Pritzker’s office.
As of the March 17 primary election, there were 453,582 registered voters in Will County, according to the county clerk’s website.
The Will County Clerk’s Office will mail ballots to a voter’s registered address or the requested mailing address starting on Sept. 24. The clerk’s office will mail a ballot within two business days to any individual who submits an application for a mail-in ballot after Sept. 24.
In addition to filling out the vote-by-mail application being sent to their homes, registered voters also can fill out the application on the county clerk’s website, thewillcountyclerk.com.
Ballots must be completed and returned to the Will County Clerk’s Office no later than 7 p.m. Nov. 3, which is Election Day. Voters are encouraged to closely follow the instructions that are on their vote-by-mail ballots.