SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Measures initially put in place to expand voting access during the pandemic will become permanent in Illinois under a new state law supported by state Rep. Maura Hirschauer, D-Batavia.
“Voting and participating in the democratic process are key privileges we have as citizens of Illinois and the United States,” said Hirschauer. “But we need to make sure that all those wanting to vote have the ability to do so, and that we aren’t making things harder for people with disabilities, health issues or seniors to vote. With expanded access to ballot drop boxes and curbside voting, we are making sure residents have every opportunity to use their voice.”
Hirschauer sponsored House Bill 1871, which was recently signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker. The measure allows local election officials to continue setting up secure drop boxes for mail-in ballots and also clarifies that all vote by mail ballots returned must be accepted, even those without proper postage. Additionally, the new law allows seniors and others who may be unable to stand in line to vote to cast their ballot from their car. While these modifications to state election law were initially designed to facilitate social distancing in response to COVID-19, Hirschauer acknowledges they had a positive impact and worked to make them permanent for all future elections.
“Voting is a fundamental right, and I am so glad to be a part of this bill to expand voting opportunities to residents,” said Hirschauer. “When other states around the country are looking to curb voting access, I am proud to see Illinois at the forefront of protecting voting rights.”