Durbin Discusses Expanding Vote-By-Mail Options With League Of Women Voters Of Illinois

SPRINGFIELD – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined the League of Women Voters of Illinois (LWVIL) to discuss expanding access to vote-by-mail and the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On the call with LWVIL members, Durbin spoke about his support for instituting vote-by-mail options nationwide, and securing more funding for state and local election authorities to ensure that all voters can access the ballot box during the pandemic. Durbin also discussed the need to provide financial aid for the United States Postal Service (USPS) and state and local governments that are facing billions of dollars in lost revenue.

“In an unprecedented global crisis, Americans shouldn’t have to risk their own health to exercise their right to vote. It’s long overdue to increase access to vote-by-mail and offer the proper resources to state and local governments to expand voting options,” said Durbin. “It was good to hear from Illinois members of the League of Women Voters today and discuss how we can participate in our democracy while taking care of ourselves and our community. The League of Women Voters has long been a strong advocate for voting rights, and I’m proud to work alongside them to push for more accessible voting options.”

The CARES Act allocated $400 million to help states prepare for the 2020 election cycle through increasing the ability to vote by mail, vote early, register online, open more voting facilities, and hire more poll-workers. Illinois is set to receive $13.9 million of this fund, but the Illinois State Board of Elections estimates that at least $39 million is needed to pay for vote-by-mail ballots and prepaid postage for all Illinois voters for the November general election. Earlier this month, Durbin signed onto a letter to congressional leadership requesting an additional $3.6 billion in resources to expand voting access in the next coronavirus relief package.

Durbin is also a cosponsor of the Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act, which would expand early in-person voting and no-excuse absentee vote-by-mail nationwide during a pandemic or natural disaster.