Ballot drop boxes and curbside voting now allowed for all Illinois elections

Chicago Tribune staff, Chicago Tribune
·1 min read

A bill that would allow secure ballot drop boxes and curbside voting to become permanent fixtures in Illinois elections was signed into law Friday by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

The measure, which takes effect immediately, passed both chambers of the General Assembly last month.

In addition to drop boxes, the new law also makes permanent the requirement that election authorities accept mail-in ballots regardless of whether they are returned with sufficient postage.

Proponents of drop boxes say they are a convenient option for voters who have concerns about trusting their ballots to the Postal Service. Curbside voting, meanwhile, makes it easier for people with disabilities or health issues to cast ballots, supporters say.

It would remain up to each of the state’s 108 election jurisdictions to decide whether to permit those forms of voting.

Similar changes were approved by the legislature last year in an effort to make voting easier and safer during the pandemic, but that legislation expired after the November election.

“We saw during the November 2020 General Election how many people enjoyed having a more safe, accessible and easier way to vote,” Sen. Julie Morrison, a Deerfield Democrat who sponsored the measure, said in a statement. “Just because the pandemic is winding down, doesn’t mean expanded voters’ rights have to. Let’s keep fighting for more inclusive and secure elections.”

About half of local jurisdictions used drop boxes in November, said Matt Dietrich, a spokesman for the State Board of Elections, which was neutral on the bill.