This week, Gov. JB Pritzker signed SB1863 into law, expanding vote by mail in the State of Illinois.

While some voters in Vermilion County will see small differences in this election, most voters will not see any changes from prior elections.

All voters who voted in the last three elections, as well as any voter who has changed their registration or registered since the primary in March, will receive a postcard that includes a vote by mail application later in the summer. If you choose to vote by mail, please feel free to utilize the postcard as your ballot application. Ballots will go out on Sept. 24 for any voter that applies from Aug. 1 through Sept. 23. If you do not choose to vote by mail, please disregard the postcard. Election officials will still be offering Early Voting in our office beginning on Sept. 24, 2020, Monday through Saturday through Nov. 2, 2020 and polling places, as normal, will be open on Election Day.

If you disregard the postcard, on or around Sept. 15, you will receive a reminder to return the application. You can use this reminder to turn in the postcard and vote by mail, or you can still come and utilize Early Voting, OR you can vote in your polling place on Election Day. If you disregard the postcard and the first reminder, you will receive a second reminder on or around Oct. 15 to return the application. Again, you can use the postcard and vote by mail, or you can come utilize Early Voting or you can vote in your polling place on Election Day.

Polling places will be open, as normal, on Election Day staffed with three judges per precinct, as per statute. The polls will be open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m., there will be an abundance of hand sanitizer, and officials will have things set up to allow for social distancing.

The Vermilion County Clerk’s office has been working diligently to audit all voter registration records and has put extra security procedures in place to ensure voter confidence in voting however you choose. If you receive something from our office regarding your registration, please follow the directions on the notice to ensure your registration is accurate for the November Election.

Should a voter choose to vote by mail, ballot to voter anonymity is maintained. Our office receives a voted ballot via the mail or hand-delivered by a person who authorizes so and it is handed directly to a set of bipartisan election judges. They then check the signature on the ballot certification against the signature in our database AND the signature on the application to ensure it matches. If there is any question, officials will reach out to the voter directly. If everything matches, the secrecy envelope is put into a pile to be opened later to maintain anonymity. Once all of the received ballots are checked in, the judges open the secrecy envelopes and process the ballots into the tabulator as the voter would have in-person.

The Vermilion County Clerk’s office is always willing to answer questions and will continue to update the voters if they can expect any additional changes leading up to Election Day. If, in the meantime, you have questions or concerns, please call Lindsay Light, Chief Deputy County Clerk, at 217/554-1911 or call the office at 217/554-1900.