Washington County Clerk Nancy Heseman’s office recently mailed out mail-in ballot applications to 9,700 registered voters in the county.
The State of Illinois expanded the role of mail-in voting this year due to the global pandemic, and Heseman said that the option is proving to be a popular one.
“We’ve always done mail-in voting in the county, so the only difference this year is that we sent out applications for a mail-in ballot,” Heseman said. “We’ve already received more than 400 applications for mail-in ballots, which is quite a few more than in normal election years.”
The deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot is October 28.
In normal years, voters have to request a mail-in ballot in order to vote that way.
Heseman said it took about a month for printing, stuffing and mailing all of the applications for ballots. The last batch was mailed to voters on July 30.
Voters who request mail-in ballots will be able to send them in postage paid, which is new this year. Ballots can also be deposited in a drop box at the courthouse.
The state will provide a grant to cover some of the costs of postage, but Heseman said she is not heard how much the grant will cover.
According to Heseman, she has heard positive things about expanded mail-in voting. “Most people who I talked to are happy about it, and it makes the voting process easier during the pandemic,” she said.
Those who apply for a mail-in ballot should make every effort to vote that way. On Election Day, polling places will not have applications for voters who requested mail-in ballots.
The first day that counties can mail out ballots is September 21. People voting by mail must have ballots postmarked by election day, November 3 and received by the Court House within two weeks.