Gov. Pritzker Approves Mail-In Voting Expansion

Gov. Pritzker Approves Mail-In Voting Expansion

SPRINGFIELD (AP) – Gov. J.B. Pritzker Tuesday approved a massive expansion in voting by mail, a plan derided by Republicans nationally.

The Democratic governor said allowing voters to mail in ballots for the November presidential election would limit polling place crowds and COVID-19 transmission. Republicans, led by President Donald Trump, have argued it opens the door to fraud.

The law requires that vote-by-mail applications be sent to every voter who voted through the mail for any election since 2018, reminders¬† be sent in the fall, and authorizies the Illinois State Board of Elections to publicize and ease the process. Ballots don’t need to be mailed, but could be placed in drop-boxes outside local election authorities.

A second bill Pritzker signed Tuesday requires those boxes to be locked. Democrats set aside about $17 million, mostly in federal COVID-19 relief funds, to be provided to local authorities to finance the system. Republicans said it will cost far more than that and its price could bust some county government budgets.