Senator HastingsSPRINGFIELD – An expanded vote by mail program signed into law today will ensure Illinoisans can exercise their right to vote without compromising their health and safety, State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) said.

“Though the state of Illinois has made tremendous strides in flattening the curve, it is not realistic to expect everyone will be comfortable with going to the polls this November,” Hastings said. “We had to take the health and safety of our people into account, and I feel we arrived at a commonsense solution to expand access to the ballot box.”

Under Senate Bill 1863 any person who has voted in the past two years — in the 2018 General Election, 2019 Consolidated Election or 2020 Primary Election — would receive an application for a vote-by-mail ballot in their mailbox. It can then be filled out and mailed to your election commission, or there will be instructions for making the request electronically.

Voters will also retain the choice to vote in person via early voting or on Election Day, which would be a state holiday for 2020.

“Those who feel comfortable voting in person should absolutely do so,” Hastings said. “The point of this legislation is to simply ensure no one feels pressured into unnecessarily putting their personal health and safety at risk.”

This legislation is effective immediately.