From the County Clerk's Facebook page, some good information on Drop Boxes. (Scroll down the Facebook page to find this message.)
From June 28-July 1, 2020 I visited three counties in Colorado, the state best known for its successful implementation of Vote by Mail. I learned that 95% of their voting population votes by mail and all three counties (Boulder, Jefferson, Denver) have over 400k registered voters. Champaign County has 120k.
I also learned that of the 95% who vote by mail, 65% of them use what are called DROP BOXES to return their ballots. Drop Boxes are extremely convenient, cheaper than returning the ballot by mail, and they are very effective in alleviating concerns about postal service delays.
Drop Boxes vary in weight from 350 lbs. to 750 lbs and they are made of 1/4 inch steel. There will be five (5) 24 Hour Drop Boxes located in these very public and highly visible locations across Champ-Urbana:
1) Brookens Administrative Building - 1776 E. Washington St. Urbana, IL 61802
2) Urbana Free Library -210 W Green St, Urbana, IL 61801
3) Illini Union Quad (South Entrance) - 1401 W Green St, Urbana, IL 6180
4) Champaign Public Library - 200 W Green St, Champaign, IL 61820
5) Douglas Branch Library - 504 E Grove St, Champaign, IL 61820
Due to the amount of changes with this election, the amount of time needed to service the Drop Boxes, and the fact that they have not been written into statute beyond the 2020 election, I decided to start with five. If/when they are written into statute as an option for all elections then I will roll out the larger plan to cover the entire county.
I researched Drop Boxes before my visit to Colorado, but the information I gathered directly from staff, volunteers, and the Clerks themselves, confirmed that we had to have Drop Boxes for Champaign County.
It is our hope that these five (5) conveniently located Drop Boxes will help voters embrace voting by mail. Voters will simply put their signed certified envelope, which will contain their completed ballot, into the Drop Box; no postage necessary. Once we have received and scanned your ballot there will be a check mark underneath your ballot tracking on our website.
Trained Republican and Democratic election judges will retrieve vote by mail envelopes from those Drop Boxes and return them to our office. They will have security logs and tamper proof seals to seal the transfer cases. We have implemented a way to track the judges and their routes and have an extensive documentation process.