Press release from the Office of State Representative Mary Edly-Allen
For immediate release
June 23, 2020
LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. – Legislation sponsored by state Rep. Mary Edly-Allen, D-Libertyville, to ensure safe elections and protect voters’ rights amid the COVID-19 pandemic was recently signed into law.
“No one should risk their health to exercise their right to vote or to help ensure a fair and transparent election,” said Edly-Allen. “The legislation signed into law this month helps to protect both voters and election workers from unnecessary exposure to COVID-19.”
Senate Bill 1863 expands hours for early voting and creates a statewide vote-by-mail program to encourage more voters to cast their vote from home. To increase transparency and protect the integrity of the election process, election authorities will be required to appoint a bipartisan panel of three election judges to verify voters’ signatures and the validity of the mail-in ballot rather than a single election judge. Locked ballot collection boxes will also be established for secure ballot submission.
Edly-Allen’s measure also allows election authorities to take additional measures to reduce person-to-person contact particularly among high-risk groups, including reducing the number of election judges at certain polling places, establishing curbside voting, and expanding the use of high school election judges.
“We have seen other states across the country struggle to operate elections during this unprecedented pandemic, and we have an opportunity to learn from the missteps of others,” said Edly-Allen. “Expanding commonsense measures like increasing the use of vote by mail, establishing curbside voting especially for seniors, and expanding early voting opportunities to reduce the number of people in a polling place at any given time are simple ways we can ensure safer elections for all.”