Voters are starting to receive information in the mail for this fall’s election and the option to vote by mail.
According to Sandy Delhaye, executive director of the Danville Election Commission, she took the first batch of mailings for Danville voters to the post office Wednesday morning. The second batch went out Thursday morning, and the final batch will be mailed this morning.
“Everything is done for the vote-by-mail applications and will be in compliance with the statute,” she said through an email.
Anyone who cast a ballot from November 2018 or later, or who registered to vote or changed addresses after the March 2020 primary, will be sent an application to vote by mail.
Individuals who changed their name, or who requested a mail-in-ballot since November 2018, even if they had not voted, also will be sent an application.
For Vermilion County residents outside Danville, with coronavirus a concern to many residents as the 2020 general election approaches, Vermilion County Clerk Cathy Jenkins wants to inform voters that vote-by-mail application postcards will be coming to their mailboxes beginning today.
The Illinois General Assembly this year passed an election bill that set provisions to increase voting by mail throughout the state.
“Voting by mail is a convenient option for voters who wish to minimize contact between other voters and poll workers but still want their voice to be heard. Vote by mail is nothing new in Vermilion County. It has always been offered, and has been routinely utilized by hundreds of voters in every election,” stated Chief Deputy County Clerk Lindsay Light.
Among the special vote by mail provisions for the 2020 general election are:
- All voters who voted in either the March 2020 primary, April 2019 consolidated or November 2018 general election will receive by mail an application for a vote-by-mail ballot
- Those who registered to vote or updated their registration between March 18 and July 31 will be mailed an application for a vote-by-mail ballot
- The state’s online voter registration site now allows users to request a mail ballot when they register
- Voters can go to
or can email@example.com
- to request a ballot electronically
Ballots will be mailed to applicants beginning Sept. 24, which is also the first day of in-person early voting. The deadline for applying for a mail ballot is 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 29. After Oct. 29, voters can still receive a mail ballot by applying in-person at the Vermilion County Clerk’s Office, 201 N. Vermilion St., Danville. Ballots must be postmarked no later than Nov. 3 to be accepted, and properly postmarked ballots will be accepted through Nov. 17.
The new law also establishes protocols to ensure proper verification of ballots before they are accepted and to inform voters in a timely manner if their ballot is rejected. This begins with a review of the voter’s signature by a panel of three election judges within two days of receipt of the ballot. A ballot may be rejected for an invalid signature only by unanimous decision of the judges.
The ballot may be rejected if two of the three judges agree that: the ballot envelope was delivered opened, the certification envelope contains no signature, the voter has already cast a ballot, the voter voted in person on Election Day, and the voter is not a duly registered voter.
If a ballot is rejected based on a signature or lack of signature or because the ballot envelope was delivered opened, the voter will be notified within two days of receipt prior to Election Day or within one day if the rejection occurs after Election Day. The new law contains provisions for the voter to address these problems.
County officials say they have been made aware there are several various vote-by-mail applications being delivered to voters from different locations and/or entities. The county will only honor the first application it receives and all others will be denied. If someone has already submitted a vote-by-mail application to the office, the voter is not eligible to send in this postcard application.
For voters who do not wish to utilize the vote-by-mail postcard they receive, refer to the in-person voting information on the card.
County officials say they will still be open for early voting beginning at 8 a.m. Sept. 24 in the office at 201 N. Vermilion St., Danville. Additional early voting hours can be found at the website, www.vercounty.org, or on the postcard received in the mail.
There also still will be normal polling locations on Election Day for those who choose to cast their vote on Nov. 3, Election Day.
“We are going to accommodate the voter by any means possible to ensure everyone is guaranteed their vote in the general election, whether that means they come see us in person or they utilize the vote-by-mail postcard. No matter which way the voter chooses to vote, our office is working diligently to protect the integrity of the voting process, as always,” stated Light.
For questions about voting in the general election, call Lindsay Light, Chief Deputy Clerk or office staff at 217-554-1900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Danville voters can contact Delhaye and the Danville Election Commission at 217-554-1930. The Danville Election Commission’s website is danvillevotes.com.