This announcement was adapted from the County Clerk Quarterly Newsletter April-June, emailed on June 18, 2021. Link is here.
A comprehensive Elections bill was passed in the Illinois House and Senate that includes items like a permanent vote by mail list, making Election Day a state holiday, and many others. See graphic for some of the changes that will impact local elections in Champaign County.
This announcement of this Indivisible Illinois meeting is adapted from an email sent out by Bend the Arc of Champaign County. The public can register to attend the Zoom meeting at https://bit.ly/illinoisforthepeople or watch the Facebook Livestream at @indivisibleillinois. The event runs from 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm on June 30. After the event, the download will also be available on YouTube on the Indivisible Illinois Channel.
US Representatives Jan Schakowsky (IL-9) and Mike Quigley (IL-5) will be speaking live at an Indivisible Illinois meeting this Wednesday, June 30, about the future of the For the People Act, which is currently stalled in the Senate, and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Current wisdom is that the Senate will make structural changes to the bill in order to get it passed, which means the bill must go back to the House for approval.
Also speaking at the event will be Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons and Indivisible Illinois Co-founder Ezra Levin.“Indivisible Illinois believes our democracy is at a crossroads”, says Rose Colacino, Indivisible Illinois Co-Coordinator and chair of the Voters’ Rights and Protection Committee. “There are laws being passed from coast to coast that don’t just suppress the vote, they’re also making it possible for legislatures to override voting results in their states.”
Schakowsky serves in the House Democratic Leadership as a Senior Chief Deputy Whip and will play an important role in this process. She will be speaking at approximately 7:20pm. Quigley serves on the House Appropriations Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He will follow at approximately 7:40pm.
At approximately 8pm, Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons will discuss the latest changes to Illinois law concerning the new permanent vote-by-mail list and current issues facing election officials regarding voter suppression efforts across the country.
Indivisible Illinois Co-founder Ezra Levin will open the meeting at 7:00 pm. Says Colacino, “Whether it's Congress or our local election officials, there's no doubt about it. We need every one of us to fight for a suppression-free democracy.”
In June the League of Women Voters of Champaign County (LWVCC) celebrates all the volunteers who keep us running and doing good works! Part of that celebration was this ad in local newpaper News Gazette, listing everyone by name. Below is a picture of the ad on page 3.
See the full list of 2020-2021 volunteers and read more about volunteering at the Thanking Volunteers page.
See the recent letter to the editor by LWVCC President Trisha Crowley in the News Gazette on the security of voting by mail.
In response to an April Letter to the Editor, the League of Women Voters of Champaign County reached out to the county clerk’s office to learn more about measures that ensure the reliability of voting by mail.
The county installed and used ballot drop boxes for the first time last year. According to the clerk’s office, drop-box design ensures optimum security. All permanent drop boxes in Champaign County are anchored in concrete, reinforced with quarter-inch steel and weigh between 250 and 500 pounds.
A narrow slot allows for the insertion of ballots but nothing larger. The box is sealed to prevent the insertion of ballots outside of voting hours. All permanent drop boxes are monitored by security cameras and are in highly visible locations.
Ballot transfer is closely guarded. Two trained election judges — one Republican, one Democrat — retrieve the ballots and must follow predetermined routes. For transport, ballots are weighed, secured and sealed in tamper-proof bags. Upon arrival at the clerk’s office, the ballots are again weighed and seal numbers are verified.
Ballots mailed through the postal service are subjected to equally meticulous security. The chain of custody is dictated by state statute and done in the presence of both Republican and Democratic judges. Security cameras monitor every step.
The clerk’s office reports no security or tampering issues during either the November 2020 or April 2021 elections. No legal challenges regarding mail ballots were filed for either.
TRISHA A. CROWLEY
President, League of Women Voters of Champaign County