(Photo Courtesy of Unsplash)

Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

The Millikin Students’ Guide to Voting-By-Mail

Confused about mail-in voting? This might answer your questions.

September 9, 2020

In the wake of the ongoing pandemic, it’s become abundantly clear that voting-by-mail will be more important now than ever before. However, the parameters by which people are able to vote by mail vary wildly from state to state, and even from county to county. This column serves to provide some insight into how best to go about requesting your ballot, as well as the best way to ensure it gets counted.  

 

Registered Voters in Macon County:

 

Macon County Clerk’s Office Address:

141 S Main St, Decatur, IL 62523

 

If by some chance you voted in the last three elections in Macon County, then you were likely already mailed an application for a mail-in ballot; if so, all you have to do is fold over the postcard and mail it back to the address listed above.

 

If, however, you haven’t voted three times in Macon County, you can simply go to: il-macon.ballotrequest.net or and request your ballot there; the deadline for requesting a ballot is October 29th, but ballots will begin to be mailed to applicants starting on Thursday, September 24th.

 

All residents of the state of Illinois may also apply for an absentee ballot, without the need for an excuse; you would simply have to go to the County Clerk’s office and request one.

 

Once you fill out your ballot, you have two options:

 

1. Mail the ballot. This costs $1.20 in postage, which must be paid by the voter. They have to be postmarked by Election Day, and must arrive within two weeks in order to be counted. Due to the recent slowdown in mail delivery, it’s recommended that you postmark and mail your ballot by October 20th, in order to ensure it arrives in time to be counted. 

 

2. Deliver the ballot in-person. There is no dropbox in the office building, but voters may take their ballot into Shilling Room 119 during Office Hours, which are as follows:

  • Monday: 8:30 AM-4:30 PM
  • Tuesday: 8:30 AM-4:30 PM
  • Wednesday: 8:30 AM-4:30 PM
  • Thursday: 8:30 AM-4:30 PM
  • Friday: 8:30 AM-4:30 PM
  • Saturday-Sunday: CLOSED

 

Mail-In Voting by State:

 

Five states conduct elections exclusively by mail:

  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Oregon
  • Utah
  • Washington

 

Four states and one district don’t exclusively use mail-in, but still, mail ballots to all registered voters:

  • California
  • *District of Columbia
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • Vermont

 

Nine states will automatically mail absentee ballot requests to registered voters:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Iowa
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Mexico
  • Ohio
  • Wisconsin

 

Twenty-five states allow no-excuse absentee voting for all, but voters in these states will need to procure a ballot request themselves:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

 

Seven states have not made COVID-19 a valid excuse to request an absentee ballot, meaning most voters in these states will still have to vote in-person:

  • Indiana
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • New York
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas

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