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Government

Sen. Dick Durbin Urges Voters to Request Ballots Early

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Illinois is one of 46 states where the US Post Office says mail-in ballots may not be received in time for the election this fall. Illinois US Sen. Dick Durbin recommends requesting a ballot at least 15 days in advance. 

"My recommendation to voters in Illinois, if you want to be extremely safe in how you do this, request the ballot no later than Oct. 19, return the ballot no later than Oct. the 27th."

In a meeting with Durbin today, the postal service's director of election mail said there were no concerns over capacity, overtime, or additional equipment — even after sorting machines across the country were dismantled. 

Durbin called that estimate "over confident." He's concerned that, in order to cut costs, the Postal Service plans to use marketing mail instead of first class mail  

"It comes down to the discretion of the postal authorities themselves as to how they treat this discounted mail, whether or not they treat it the same as first class mail... This happens once every four years. America votes only once in common for an elected official, and it's for the president. That mail should be given that priority treatment."

Durbin says mail-in ballots will be counted as long as they're post-marked by election day and received by the county clerk within 14 days. 

Marianna Bacallao is WVIK Quad Cities NPR's 2020-2021 Fellowship Host/Reporter. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Mercer University's Center for Collaborative Journalism and served as Editor-in-Chief for the student newspaper, The Cluster.
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