DEERFIELD — Illinoisans across the state will receive an application in their mailbox to vote from the comfort and safety of their home, thanks to a measure spearheaded by State Senator Julie Morrison.

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“If you’re eligible to vote, you should be able to do so safely and securely. No one should have to worry about jeopardizing their health to practice their civic duty,” Morrison said. “It is vital that no eligible voter — regardless of age or health — end up disenfranchised by the current health crisis.”

Morrison (D-Lake Forest) successfully passed an elections package which, among other things, expands the state’s vote by mail program for the November 2020 election, amid concerns COVID-19 could discourage people from visiting the polls.

Any person who has voted in the past two years —in the 2018 General Election, 2019 Consolidated Election or 2020 Primary Election — will receive an application for a vote-by-mail ballot in their mailbox for the 2020 General Election.

People who registered to vote after the 2020 Primary Election will also receive an application.

Election authorities are expected to mail out applications no later than Aug. 1, so people can expect their applications in early August. They can also expect to receive periodic reminders form the secretary of state’s office to submit their application.

However, people who aren’t automatically sent an application will still have the chance to apply for a ballot via the State Board of Elections’ website.

“More voters will be able to participate in a very important aspect of their citizenry — their right to vote — because we have a plan in place to allow them to do so safely,” Morrison said. “We must be prepared, because we don’t know how safe it will be for people to be this fall.”

This does not preclude in-person voting opportunities on and before Election Day.

The measure also makes Election Day, November 3, a state holiday.

Senate Bill 1863 was signed by Gov. JB Pritzker Tuesday and took immediate effect.