* Press release…
Senator Morrison (D-Lake Forest) will soon file a measure to further expand Illinois’ vote-by-mail program. Illinoisans would have the option to forego traditional polling places and cast their ballot from the comfort of their home. Under the proposal, each registered voter would be mailed a ballot, which would then be returned to the county elections office and counted on Election Day.
However, this does not preclude in-person voting opportunities on and/or before Election Day.
* The governor has already said he’s open to changing Illinois laws on vote-by-mail. Greg Hinz followed up with the four legislative leaders. The two Democrats seemed at least somewhat supportive. Senate President Don Harmon has long supported ideas like Morrison’s.
House Speaker Michael Madigan’s spokesman said he would “support emphasizing that method in November.” Madigan has so far resisted a statewide mail program unless some standards can be set. As we’ve discussed, different counties treat them differently. Some are more persnickety about signatures, some toss out ballots for minor clerical issues, etc. Also, Madigan does his own VBM program for Democrats.
The Republicans were not enthused…
“Ballot access in Illinois has and will continue to be strong. There is no need to change this November’s process,” House GOP Leader Jim Durkin said in a statement relayed by his spokeswoman, Eleni Demertzis. She added, “The Ds already have all the advantages they need. Just not sure what additional mail ballot provisions we can undertake as any voter can currently request a mail ballot for no reason.” […]
“There will be a time to discuss that in the future,” [Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady] said in a statement relayed by his spokesman Jason Gerwig. “Right now our focus should remain on rebuilding our economy and containing the COVID-19 virus.”
Another prominent Republican, DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin, said such a change could well help Democrats because elderly people, who tend to vote Republican, are more comfortable with the current system.
“But it may be necessary, he added. “I think we have to prepare for the possibility that people’s behavior is going to change.”