Governor Pritzker Signs Into Law Changes Concerning Mail-in ballots and Election Security

THE SEA RANCH, CALIFORNIA - October 21, 2018: Voting ballot: Absentee voting by mail with hand holding envelope by mailboxes. Absentee voting is voting-by-mail and allows voters who cannot visit the polls on Election Day, to cast their ballot by the US mail.

Governor Pritzker Signs Into Law Changes Concerning Mail-in ballots and Election Security

Apr 9, 2021

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On April 2, 2021, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law, P.A. 102-0001 amending certain provisions of the Illinois Election Code.  The first public act signed during the 102nd General Assembly seeks to empower election authorities including the State Board of Elections to establish greater security and transparency in elections. 

Among the various provisions in the Act, the Act allows for greater security efforts by allowing the State Board of Elections the ability to distribute the remaining federal funds related to the Help America Vote Act (Pub.L. 107-252) to election authorities for the maintenance of secure collection sites for the return of vote by mail.  In addition, election authorities, pursuant to the Act, may establish curb-side voting for individuals to cast a ballot during early voting or on election day.

A new obligation from the Act requires that election authorities accept any vote by mail ballot returned, including those ballots returned with insufficient or no postage.  Election authorities may maintain one or more secure collection sites for postage-free return of vote by mail ballots.  All ballots which are collected by election authorities through a collection site must done so by the close of business each day and note the day the ballot was returned.  All collection sites shall also be secured by locks that may be opened only by election authority personnel and shall further be subject to any additional security guidelines established by the State Board of Elections.

As elections grow more complicated, security and transparency will continue to be an issue for all election authorities in the State.  Please contact your Robbins Schwartz attorney if you have any questions and to ensure compliance with any election requirements in the State.