Over the past few days, many Effingham County voters have received a letter from Secretary of State Jesse White’s office alerting them that they have not applied for a Vote by Mail ballot, and they should contact the Effingham County Clerk’s office to complete their application.

These letters have been sent to voters throughout Illinois from the Secretary of State’s office.

The letters were part of the mandate of SB 1863, the election bill passed by the state legislature in May and signed by Governor Pritzker in June as a response to COVID-19. It requires election authorities, such as the Effingham County Clerk, to send a Vote-By-Mail ballot application to every voter who has voted in any of the past three elections.

The law also stipulates that the Secretary of State shall send, by September 15, 2020, and again by October 15, 2020 a notice to any voter in Illinois who received an application for a Vote-By-Mail ballot but has not yet applied for such ballot according to State Board of Elections

However, the notices do not accurately reflect the current status of Vote by Mail applications this office has received from Effingham County voters. Many voters who have applied for Vote-By-Mail ballots, as well as voters who have no interest in voting by mail, have received these letters.

Be assured that those who have applied for a Vote-By-Mail ballot this office has been processing your applications, and Vote-by-Mail ballots will be sent to Effingham County voters who have requested them beginning September 24th and should start arriving in homes the following week.

And to those voters who do not want to vote by mail, In-person Early Voting and Election Day polling places will be available as always to any voters who prefer to utilize those options.

Kerry Hirtzel, Effingham County Clerk

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