For the past couple of weeks, you have likely heard and seen a lot about the United States Postal Service. As a brief summary, the USPS is unsure of its capabilities in terms of handling such a large volume of election ballots this year. Lawmakers in Washington D.C. have debated new funding but nothing significant has been voted on yet. With the election coming in only a few months, and deadlines to vote by mail incoming, voters need clarification. However, as we wait for Congress, the best voters can do for now is turn in their ballots with time to spare. So when is the deadline for mail-in ballots and when does early voting start?
Safest Ways To Vote
A couple of months ago I discussed voting by mail and other safe ways to vote in the 2020 general election. Since medical experts’ progress on a vaccine or treatment have not yet come to fruition, don’t expect something by November. So for now, the absolute safest way to vote is a mail in ballot, followed by early in-person voting. Vote by mail is safe because it keeps you from gathering with hundreds to thousands of others. Early voting is generally safe because many people put off voting until election night, meaning you won’t see a line.
Requesting Mail-In Ballot
If you have previously voted, or are a registered voter in Illinois, you likely received an application to vote by mail. For those who are certain that they will not be voting in person, you should carefully fill out the form. Your deadline to fill out the form and request a ballot is October 29th, 2020. Once you have your ballot filled out, you have several options for returning it:
- Send your mail-in ballot on or before November 3rd through USPS or other verified carrier
- Drop it off at a polling location
- Election board with jurisdiction in your area
- More drop off locations may be authorized in the coming weeks.
Early In-person Voting
If you would rather not risk fudging a ballot application, missing a deadline, or other mishap, you can always vote early in-person. Illinoisans can vote as early as September 24th, 2020 up until November 2nd, 2020. The general election will begin and end in-person voting on November 3rd, 2020. The only ballots that will count after this date will be mail-in ballots postmarked on or before November 3rd.