SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Encouraging residents to make sure their voices are heard, state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, backed recent legislation to expand voter access that allows a permanent vote-by-mail list, increases election cybersecurity protections and makes General Election Day 2022 a state holiday.
“With voting rights under attack on other states, it was important we took action here in Illinois to strengthen voter access and ensure that people have their votes counted,” Stuart said. “Additionally, bad actors have used the internet to target our election authorities, which is why we’ve worked to outline new security checks and tools these authorities should use.”
Stuart sponsored Senate Bill 825, which requires election authorities to strengthen cybersecurity measures and creates an optional permanent vote by mail list where voters can declare their intent to vote by mail if they meet certain requirements. It makes General Election Day 2022 a state holiday, and pushes back the 2022 primary election from March 15 to June 28 due to late arriving census data that could impact congressional redistricting. Additionally, counties will now be required to have at least one universal voting center location.
“Last year, the pandemic forced us to think about how we’re handling elections and ways we can ensure that voters have the secure access they deserve,” Stuart said. “Making General Election Day a state holiday is a terrific way to increase engagement, particularly our newest voters who otherwise may have had to deal with school. Our democracy is healthy when we have more participants, and I’m hopeful that our state will continue to be a leader in voting rights moving forward.”