Senator PetersCHICAGO – State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) is applauding an expansion to the state’s vote-by-mail program becoming law after Gov. JB Pritzker signed it Tuesday.

“Since everyone deserves the right to be healthy, it’s critical that we figure out a way to help people stay healthy while they exercise their right to participate in the democratic process,” Peters said. “Voting by mail is a safe, convenient way for folks to have their voices heard without having to worry about contracting COVID-19.”

The vote-by-mail expansion is part of a larger election package legislators passed in May to address specific concerns regarding voting during a global pandemic. Under the new law, local election authorities must automatically send vote-by-mail applications to everyone under their jurisdiction who voted in the 2018 general, 2019 consolidated, or 2020 primary elections, or who registered to vote after the 2020 primary.

“Many people don’t realize they even have the option to vote by mail, so automatically sending applications will help give people who are worried about getting sick while voting some peace of mind,” Peters said.

The law is effectively immediately and applies only to the 2020 General Election.