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Illinois

0 /65
Vote at Home Score

2020 General Election

Turnout rate (VEP)

0 %

Votes cast from mailed-out ballots

0 %

2016 General Election

Turnout rate (VEP)

0 %

Votes cast from mailed out ballots

0 %

State election policies as of 2022...

Full Vote-at-Home

0/10

Full Vote-at-Home

Voter automatically mailed ballot for every election

No Excuse Required

6/6

No Excuse Required

No excuse to vote from home

Single Sign-Up

6/6

Single Sign-Up

Voter signs up once to receive mail ballot for all future elections

Local Vote-at-Home Option

0/5

Local VAH Option

Local governments have discretion to conduct full vote-at-home elections

Online Mail Ballot Sign-Up

2/2

Online Mail Ballot Sign-Up

Voter can apply for mail ballot online

Ballot Tracking

2/4

Ballot Tracking

Voter can receive ballot status notifications.

In-Person Ballot Return

4/5

In-Person Ballot Return

Voter has multiple options to return mail ballot in person

Signature Verification

4/5

Signature Verification

Voter signature verified before ballot is counted

Ballot Cure Process

4/4

Ballot Cure Process

Voter can correct issues so ballot can be counted

Prepaid Postage

0/4

Prepaid Postage

Postage-paid return envelopes provided

Election Day Postmark Acceptance

4/4

Election Day Postmark Acceptance

Ballots postmarked by Election Day are accepted

In-Person Voting

4/4

In-Person Return

Physical locations for voters to vote and receive assistance

Pre-Processing

3/3

Signature Verification

Ballots are verified and scanned before Election Day

Mail Ballot Applications

2/2

Mail Ballot Applications

Election officials can mail ballot applications to all voters eligible to vote from home

Ballot Return Assistance

2/2

Ballot Return Assistance

Voters may receive assistance to return their mail ballot

Last Updated

Opportunities

Creating an online portal for voters to request an absentee ballot that feeds directly into the voter registration system is an important step to help verify addresses, collect contact information, and remove administrative steps involved in processing a large amount of requests. We encourage an integrated process that allows new voters to register and allows current voters to make changes to their address and make requests for ballots in a seamless manner.
Illinois can increase voter confidence by allowing voters to track their ballot much like an Amazon package by creating a statewide ballot tracking system, rather than voters having to hope their county decides to implement its own. Advanced ballot tracking systems can proactively notify voters when their ballot takes a new step in the path from being sent to them to finally being counted (or rejected). If a ballot is rejected, these ballot tracking tools can be used as another method to contact voters if there is a signature mismatch or deficiency on their return envelope.
With a drastic increase in mail ballots, Illinois has a great opportunity to reach for the gold standard of post-election security by implementing risk limiting audits.
We highly recommend keeping vote centers, or polling locations where any voter in the county can vote, beyond the 2022 election. This is a way to streamline the system so over time, as the share of the vote cast by mail increases, counties can have fewer overall polling locations, while individual voters will have more voting location options. Additionally, we recommend including provisions to allow for ballots to be received at polling and vote centers, as well as other locations deemed necessary by the clerk, as a low cost way to increase return options.
Guaranteeing prepaid postage is a voter-centric reform that breaks down an economic barrier to the vote. While SB 1863/HB 2238 mandated that election officials accept 2020 general election ballots sent with insufficient postage, Illinois should make prepaid postage permanent for all future elections.

Recent Legislation

As of June 21, 2021

In 2020, the legislature responded to the pandemic by passing SB 1863/HB 2238, which encouraged all voters to vote at home in the 2020 general election. It provided for the distribution of mail-in ballot applications to all registered voters and required the Secretary of State to follow up with all voters that did not apply for mail ballots twice. It mandated ballot-tracking and clarified that election officials must accept ballots delivered with insufficient postage. It also allowed voters to either mail their ballots or drop them off at designated collection sites.

During the 2021 session,Illinois passed SB825 to create a permanent absentee list and require officials to send voters absentee applications before each election. Additionally, just for the 2022 election, it requires all counties to create vote centers, where anyone in the county can vote, and makes election day a holiday. The state also passed HB 1871, which ordered the State Board of elections to distribute remaining HAVA funds to county election officials for the purpose of establishing drop boxes. It also facilitated curbside voting and required election officials to accept ballots delivered with insufficient or no postage.