Residents will soon have option to apply for Permanent Vote by Mail in Illinois 

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KANKAKEE – A new law passed in June 2021 will soon allow voters across Illinois to register to be permanently placed on Vote by Mail status.

“You may now apply to permanently be placed on vote by mail status.” Kankakee County Clerk Dan Hendrickson announced late last week. The new law requires County Clerks to send the new option to voters by August 10th 2022

Voters will begin seeing postcards arriving in the mail soon to allow for the Permanent Vote by Mail status. Those applying for the permanent status will begin seeing a ballot in mail 40 days before elections.

“There is the convenience of early voting from home. In some of the larger polling places, it relieves the pressure of long lines at the end of election day,” Hendrickson said.  “In general, (voters) have the benefit of sitting at home, researching the candidates and taking their time to fill out a ballot. If you want to vote by mail, you don’t have to remember to request the ballot,” he added.

When the postcard arrives you will be allowed four options, including receiving a ballot for every election.  Other options include receiving a ballot for only elections not requiring a party designation, apply for only the 2022 General election, or do nothing and not be placed on the list.

Those not responding will continue to vote at their polling places on Election Day.  While those applying could possibly avoid long lines, bad weather, and transportation related concerns.

“The polls are going to be open. You will still have the option to do what you’ve always done and vote on election day if that’s your preference,” he said.  “When we get that application back, that’s when something will change. Or if you choose not to apply now, you can always come back later to the County Clerk’s office and ask for an application to be put on the permanent vote my mail list.”

Ballots will next be sent out beginning Sept 29th for those who return an application to be on permanent vote by mail.

Hendrickson urgent voters with questions regarding the new option to ask in person at the Clerk’s office at 189 East Court Street in Kankakee, call 815-937-2990, or email the office at countyclerk@k3county.net.

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