Election Code Change Approved by Senate, Stalls in House
An amendment was filed by Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) that makes several changes to the Illinois Election Code concerning mail-in ballots and curbside voting. The bill was approved by the Illinois Senate by a vote of 40-18 on the evening of January 12 and was not afforded a vote in the House prior to the conclusion of the 101st General Assembly.
HB 3994 as amended by Senate Floor Amendment (SFA) 1 amends the Election Code to provide the remaining funds received under the federal Help America Vote Act may be made available by the State Board of Elections to election authorities for the maintenance of secure collection sites for the return of vote by mail ballots.
The bill also allows election authorities to establish curb-side voting for individuals to cast a ballot during early voting or on election day. An election authority's curb-side voting program shall designate at least 2 election judges from opposite parties per vehicle and the individual must have the option to mark the ballot without interference from the election judges.
Election authorities would be required to accept any vote by mail ballot returned, including ballots returned with insufficient or no postage. Election authorities would be permitted to establish secure collection sites for postage-free return of vote by mail ballots. The bill also provides for the collection and processing of vote by mail ballots submitted to collection sites and states that the State Board of Elections shall establish additional guidelines for the security of collection sites.