State Watch

Illinois governor signs law expanding curbside voting, permanent vote by mail

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Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed a law on Thursday expanding curbside voting and establishing permanent vote by mail.

Senate Bill 825 lays out procedures for election authorities to establish curbside voting during early voting or on Election Day. The measure also establishes permanent voting lists that voters can choose to opt-in or opt-out of at any time.

The bill also directs authorities to establish central polling places where “all voters in its jurisdiction are allowed to vote on election day … regardless of the precinct in which they are registered,” according to its text.

The measure also allows sheriffs to establish temporary polling locations at county jails. These sites would be available to people who live in the county and are in custody, but have not been convicted of the offense for which they are detained.

Pritzker’s office said that the practice is already in place in Cook County.

The legislation also establishes June 28, 2022, as the new date of the state’s primary election.

The measure passed the Illinois general assembly on May 31, according to records on its website.

Pritzker said on Twitter “with attacks on voting rights on the rise in states across the nation, Illinois is proud to stand up for a strong, secure and accessible democracy.”

“The legislation I’m signing today further expands access to the ballot box — ensuring all Illinoisans’ voices are heard.”

The measure comes as access to the ballot box becomes a highly partisan issue as states move to impose new restrictions on voting.

Supporters of the restrictions argue they will ensure ballots are fairly cast and protect the integrity of elections, but opponents say the efforts are aimed at making it harder for people to vote and that the restrictions will specifically limit the vote of minority groups.

Some other states have moved to pass measures that make it easier to vote by mail or through absentee ballots. 

Earlier this month, Vermont Gov Phil Scott (R) signed bipartisan legislation to conduct general elections exclusively through absentee voting.

Tags Early voting Elections Illinois JB Pritzker Voting
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