(WAND) The Illinois House passed a bill Thursday night that aims to expand mail-in voting in Illinois for the November 3rd, 2020 General Election.
The measure, which passed 72-43, would see election officials send ballot applications to Illinoisans who voted by mail in 2018, 2019, or earlier in 2020. Voters would not receive a ballot at first, just an application. They would have to fill the application out, and mail it in, before receiving an actual ballot.
Mail-in voting will likely be on the rise this November due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Supporters of the bill say it would provide a simpler and safer way to vote, while opponents say it could open the door for voter fraud, and say it would be operationally and financially burdensome.
Earlier this week, President Donald Trump said, "Mail-in ballots are very dangerous. There's tremendous fraud involved and tremendous illegality."
Speaking to WAND on Thursday, State Senator Andy Manar disputed this notion, saying, "Mail-in (voting) is secure. There's no evidence that has shown that it isn't... They just don't want people to vote."
State Representative Sue Scherer, who voted for the bill, said, "We want for as many legal registered voters as possible to be able to vote... If the coronavirus is holding people back from feeling comfortable going to a polling place, we're trying to do everything we can to take those problems away."
State Representative Dan Caulkins, who voted against the bill, said, "Encouraging people to vote by mail is certainly a pro... The con part of if it... it's going to be not just cumbersome, but expensive to do."
The bill would also make November 3, 2020, a state holiday.
The bill will now be voted on by the Illinois Senate.