Illinois Election Laws Expecting Major Changes

By Benjamin Cox on June 3, 2021 at 9:49am

Illinois’ primary will move up to June next year and people can opt to vote by mail permanently under new legislation that passed the General Assembly on Monday.

The bill mandates that all election authorities maintain a .gov website, perform a cybersecurity risk assessment every two years, high schools must provide a document explaining the process on how to register to vote to every high school student, high schools can’t prevent non-partisan voter registration activities on their property among many other changes.

One of the big changes is that petitions for nomination for the 2022 election will begin in January with petition filing in March; and lowers the amount of signatures required for elected office by 1,000 in some places. The 2022 primary will be held on June 28th instead of the normal March 15th. Early voting begins on May 19th with mail-in ballots going out on May 14th. Election Day on November 8th, 2022 will again be a state holiday.

The bill also allows for voters to apply for permanent vote-by-mail status, individuals not convicted of a crime held at a county jail to vote on Election Day, and establishes curbside voting procedures. There is also language that may allow those with a legal disability to vote by email with assistive technology in the future with trailer legislation.

It also makes public the information and decision-making process of an appointed officeholder in the General Assembly. It requires committees in the General Assembly who must appoint a member for any reason to full vet the decision and all of the possible candidates and applicants for the open office in order to provide a mode of transparency.

For local reapportionment for voting districts, county and local boards have been given the extended deadline of December 31st for their local remap.

Senate Bill 825 and its amendments passed on party line votes Monday.