* Tina Sfondeles…
The elections omnibus measure would allow for a vote-by-mail application to be sent to any voter who previously voted-by-mail or who cast a ballot in 2018, 2019 or 2020. It would also allow any Illinois resident who filled out a change of address or a voter registration application between the March 17 primary and July 31 to be sent a vote-by-mail application.
The measure also includes language designed to provide more election judges, in light of the mess of the March primary in which many older election judges opted out for safety concerns.
Under the new measure, any U.S. citizen 16 or older would be able to serve as an election judge. High school students, community college and university students would be notified of their option to serve as election judges, and the Illinois Department of Employment Security would be required to notify the unemployed that they could serve as an election judge.
Election Day would also be considered a holiday.
The holiday wouldn’t apply to businesses, just government and schools.
…Adding… I should note that most of the bill’s changes are only for this year’s general election.
The language is here. As I told subscribers earlier this week, its contents are very similar to the House Democratic Women’s Caucus list of ideas from last week.
* Sun-Times editorial…
As the bill’s House sponsor, Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, said, “Our goal is to ensure the greatest possibility of access for citizens to be able to go and cast votes in November in the pandemic.”
Illinois already has a comparatively voter-friendly system of elections. Mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day are counted even if they arrive two week later. No witness signature is needed to vote by mail. And unlike with absentee ballots, no one has to provide an excuse for voting by mail, such as an illness.
Illinois can do even better to ensure full and fair elections this fall.
…Adding… The bill was advanced to the floor today. Some stories…
* Bill to expand vote-by-mail heads to House floor
* Vote by mail expansion moves to House floor
* Despite concerns, measure expanding vote-by-mail in Illinois advances
…Adding… I’m hearing the Senate may take up this bill tonight…
…Adding… Now the SDems are saying that it may not be taken up tonight.