EDWARDSVILLE - Madison County Clerk Debbie Ming-Mendoza announced today that her office will begin sending Vote By Mail applications to every registered voter who voted in the 2018, 2019 and March 2020 elections as per the new Illinois legislation SB1863.

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Mendoza said she is following the legislation signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on June 1.

"I am not sending an application to every registered voter, but sending them to anyone who specifically voted in the 2018, 2019 and March 2020 elections," she said. "We have 106,000 who voted in those elections of 174,000 registered voters."

Ming-Mendoza said she expects a huge voting turnout for this year's presidential election in November.

"We are supplied up and planning for it," she said of a huge turnout. "We have made some changes in the office and have hired part-time election judges to handle certification of signatures and ballots. Our turnout in the March Primary election was low because of COVID-19. COVID is a very scary thing and this should allow more to vote than otherwise might not. COVID appears it will be going strong by the time of the November election."

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The applications will arrive at homes in clearly marked envelopes. Registered voters simply need to sign their pre-filled applications and send them back to the Madison County Clerk’s Office to receive a Vote by Mail Ballot by Nov. 3, 2020, for the Presidential Election.

Mendoza said Vote by Mail is a safe and secure way to cast a ballot without having to personally visit a polling place on Election Day or an Early Voting location in the weeks prior to the election. Citizens across the country have demonstrated an increased interest in casting ballots by mail to minimize the risk of catching or transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

Concerned about community spread of the potentially deadly virus, the Illinois General Assembly in May passed sweeping legislation that, in essence, requires county clerks to send Vote by Mail applications to every registered voter as specified. Senate Bill 1863 also requires the inclusion of the following language in official public announcements from county clerks:

“Due to COVID-19, all 2020 General Election voters are encouraged to cast a ballot prior to Election Day, either by mail or during early voting," Mendoza said. "Voting by mail is an easy option for voters and you can request a Vote by Mail ballot through email, mail, or in person."

An application is available from your local election authority at: https://apps.co.madison.il.us/CountyClerk/Elections/VoteByMail/

To register to vote or check your registration status, visit: https://www.co.madison.il.us/departments/county_clerk/elections/voter_registration.php

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