(10 ILCS 5/2B-20)
(Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2021)
Changes for vote by mail official ballot mailing and processing.
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, an election authority shall mail official ballots to any elector requesting an official ballot no earlier than September 24, 2020. Except for electors applying under Article 20, any elector submitting an application for a vote by mail ballot on or before October 1, 2020 shall receive a ballot no later than October 6, 2020. An election authority shall mail official ballots to any elector requesting an official ballot after October 1, 2020 no later than 2 business days after receipt of the application.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, any vote by mail ballot received by an election authority shall be presumed to meet the requirements of Articles 17, 18, and 19 and the voter shall be deemed otherwise qualified to cast a vote by mail ballot unless deemed invalid as provided in this Section.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, within 2 days after a vote by mail ballot is received, but in all cases before the close of the period for counting provisional ballots, the election authority shall appoint a panel or panels of 3 election judges, of which no more than 2 shall be from the same political party, from the list of election judges submitted by the county parties for this specific purpose to compare the voter's signature on the certification envelope of the vote by mail ballot with the signature of the voter on file in the office of the election authority. The signature shall be presumed to match unless 3 out of 3 election judges determine that the 2 signatures do not match. By a vote of 3 of 3 election judges, a vote by mail ballot may only be rejected because the signature on the certification envelope and the signature used by the election authority for verification purposes do not match or the certification envelope contains a signature but not in the proper location. A vote by mail ballot may only be rejected by a majority vote of the election judges and only for the following reasons: (1) the certification envelope contains no signature; (2) the ballot envelope was delivered opened; (3) the voter has already cast a ballot; (4) if the voter voted in person on election day; or (5) the voter is not a duly registered voter in the precinct. If election judges determine the ballot should be rejected for any reasons stated in this subsection (c), the judges shall mark across the face of the certification envelope the word "rejected" and the date and names of the judges voting to reject the ballot.
(d) If a vote by mail ballot is rejected, the election authority shall notify the voter within 2 days after the rejection or within one day if the rejection occurs after election day and in all cases before the close of the period for counting provisional ballots. The voter shall be notified through mail or email, or both, and the notice shall inform the voter of the reason or reasons the ballot was rejected. If the ballot was rejected based on the signature or lack of a signature, the voter shall be permitted to submit a statement the voter cast the ballot, and upon receipt the ballot shall be determined valid and counted before the close of the period for counting provisional ballots. If the ballot was rejected because the envelope was delivered opened, the voter shall be permitted to vote in person or request to receive another vote by mail ballot, provided the voter submits an application and casts a new ballot prior to the close of polls on election day.
(e) Election authorities shall accept any vote by mail ballot returned, including ballots returned with insufficient or no postage, and may establish secure collection sites for the postage-free return of vote by mail ballots. Any election authority establishing such a collection site pursuant to this subsection (c) shall collect all ballots submitted each day at close of business and process them as required by this Code, including noting the day on which the ballot was submitted. Ballots submitted to such collection sites after close of business shall be dated as delivered the next day, with the exception of ballots delivered on election day, which shall be dated as received on election day. Election authorities shall permit electors to return vote by mail ballots on election day up until the close of the polls. All collection sites shall be secured by locks that may be opened only by election authority personnel. The State Board of Elections shall establish additional guidelines for the security of collection sites.
(f) In accordance with Section 19-7, within one day after receipt of a vote by mail ballot, the election authority shall transmit notification of receipt to the State Board of Elections. If a vote by mail ballot is rejected, the election authority must notify the State Board of Elections within one day. Upon request by a state or local political committee, within 2 days an election authority must electronically provide the names and addresses of any vote by mail ballots received and any vote by mail ballots marked rejected.
(Source: P.A. 101-641, eff. 6-16-20; 101-642, eff. 6-16-20.)