ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Concerned that the ongoing pandemic could put the health of voters at risk, state Rep. Mark Walker, D-Arlington Heights, helped pass a measure designed to make this year’s general election safer by mailing out vote-by-mail applications and allowing election authorities to provide for “curbside” voting and special senior hours.
“This pandemic has been tragic, and we have to be proactive in limiting the extent of its damage,” Walker said. “With the general election on the horizon, we had to take action to ensure residents can have their voices heard without putting themselves and others at risk. Nobody should have to sacrifice their safety to go vote.”
Walker backed Senate Bill 1863, which encourages voters to utilize vote-by-mail by automatically sending applications to voters who participated in either the 2018 general election, 2019 consolidated election or 2020 primary election. Additionally, election authorities would have the ability to offer curbside voting, special senior voting hours and other actions to limit exposure by voters, election judges and other employees involved in operations at physical voting sites. The measure is intended to only impact the 2020 general election due to COVID-19.
“While unprecedented safety steps will be taken at voting locations, it makes a lot of sense for residents to request a vote-by-mail ballot,” Walker said. “It’s safe, secure and convenient, I encourage everyone to utilize it.”