CHICAGO (CBS) — A bill to expand Illlinois’ vote by mail program cleared the state Senate on Friday, and now heads to Gov. JB Pritizker for his signature.
The governor has said he supports the legislation that would expand mail-in voting, only for November’s election. The Senate vote on SB-1863 was 37-19. In August, ballot applications would automatically be sent to anyone who voted in the 2018, 2019 and 2020 elections or who applied for an absentee ballot. Ballots would then be mailed out in early fall.READ MORE: State Rep. LaShawn Ford Introduces Legislation To Increase Equity In Illinois Cannabis Industry
“The right to vote is the foundational pillar of our democracy — and, now, as our elected leaders are making some of the most consequential decisions of our lifetimes, it’s more important than ever that people have every ability to make their voices heard,” said Pritzker on Friday.READ MORE: Remembering Hazel Johnson, Chicago’s ‘Mother Of Environmental Justice,’ On Earth Day 10 Years After Her Passing
“Sending vote-by-mail applications to residents who have participated in recent elections will allow more people to vote from the safety of their own homes and help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. I look forward to signing this legislation when it reaches my desk and I encourage all eligible voters to exercise their right to vote at every available opportunity.”
The new election changes would be repealed on January 1, 2021.MORE NEWS: Federal Rescue Plan Is Supposed To Keep Unemployment Benefits Going, But Many Say They're Being Held Up In Illinois
Based on voter rolls applications would be sent to about five million people.