“The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy,” Costa Howard said. “We need to do everything we can to protect voters’ health and to encourage every citizen to participate in every election. I’m so proud that Illinois is a national leader in expanding voters’ access, both by increasing early voting hours and vote-by-mail and by declaring a state holiday on Election Day.”
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the General Assembly passed House Bill 2238 and Senate Bill 1863, which Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law on June 16. Under the new laws, early voting hours will be extended, to reduce crowding at voting sites. In addition, vote-by-mail applications will be sent to all recent voters in Illinois. Vote-by-mail ballot applications also are available on the Illinois State Board of Elections website, at www.elections.il.gov/. Election Day will be a state holiday, to give voters time off to cast their ballots.
“During these turbulent times, every voter’s voice is important,” Costa Howard said. “We need to take aim at every obstacle that makes it difficult or impossible for people to cast their ballots. People shouldn’t have to stand in long lines on Election Day, especially during a pandemic. By making it possible for people to vote from their homes, or early vote on a weekend, or take off work on Election Day without penalty, the State of Illinois is upholding the greatest principles of democracy.”