As many states work feverishly to restrict their citizens’ right to vote, the Illinois legislature has been working in the opposite direction. Governor Pritzker recently signed Senate Bill 825 which makes several changes to election law in Illinois. These changes will assure safety and convenience for Illinois voters for decades to come.
- The date of the 2022 primary election has been moved from March to June 28. The later date for the 2022 primary election was necessary because the decennial census report was late.
- Candidates may begin to circulate petitions on January 13 and petitions are due to be filed between March 7 and 14.
- Early voting begins on May 19.
- Curbside voting is now permanent.
- Sheriffs may establish polling places in their local jails for those who are awaiting trial.
- Election day was declared a holiday under the temporary 2020 election legislation and now is a permanent part of Illinois election law. The holiday provision is especially helpful for schools where many polling places are located because there has been concern about voters and poll workers entering and exiting school buildings when students are moving about the school building. Additionally, this frees older students to work as election judges and makes voting easier for those who do not have to work that day.
- New cyber security protocols are required of local election departments.
- Every county must provide at least one universal voting center. A central voting site assures that those who are not aware of the location of their polling place have the option to vote in a universal location.
- It will be possible to complete an application with the local election department to be on a list of those who will automatically receive a mail in ballot prior to every election in lieu of having to complete an application each time an election is held. It is hoped that this will increase voter participation.
To read the entire publication, go to https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/102/102-0015.htm.