VILLA PARK, Ill. – In response to the unique public health situation we continue to face as a result of the novel coronavirus, legislation sponsored by state Rep. Deb Conroy, D – Villa Park, to promote the state’s vote by mail program and enact other measures to protect voter safety and health was signed into law last week.
“The public health crisis we are experiencing has forced most of us to confront daily challenges head on and required us to learn and become more adaptable in our everyday lives,” Conroy said. “As elected officials, we have been faced with tough decisions in trying to balance public health while simultaneously maintaining the fundamental operations and functions of state government. This bill recognizes the challenges we continue to endure, allowing state government to continue conducting vital business while taking measures to protect public health.”
Senate Bill 1863 was negotiated by the leadership of the Illinois House Democratic Women’s Caucus, of which Conroy serves as the chair. Among other measures, the legislation requires the automatic mailing of vote by mail applications to recent active voters, expands early voting hours to allow for greater social distancing, and allows election authorities to implement curbside voting to reduce person-to-person contact for vulnerable populations.
“It is clear that the unprecedented situation we are navigating related to the pandemic warranted a commonsense update to our election law for the upcoming election by making a vote by mail option more accessible to all Illinoisans and enhancing safety measures to promote social distancing,” said Conroy. “This change will help mitigate any future resurgence of COVID-19 cases which could arise down the road and is exclusive only to the 2020 General Election.”