The Democrat majority pushed through mail-in ballot legislation under the guise of protecting citizens from a possible resurgence of COVID-19, but State Senator Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove) says the bill was nothing more than another example of partisan politics.
The legislation approved would require mail-in ballot applications to be sent to anyone who voted in the 2018, 2019 elections and in the 2020 Primary Election. Voters in the 2016 election were left out of the bill even though turnout in 2016 was much greater than the 2018 election. The total votes cast in the 2016 General Election was 5,536,424. The total votes cast in the 2018 General Election was 4,547,657 – a difference of nearly 1 million voters.
"The Democrat majority is intentionally limiting who gets the applications because they believe that by doing so, they can ensure Democrat victories," Oberweis said. "The 2018 election had a high turnout of Democrat voters, which is clearly why they are not including the 2016 election in their mail-in ballot application program. This legislation is about protecting their majority and not at all about trying to help citizens during this health crisis."
Oberweis said Republicans by contrast want to provide ballot applications to all voters by including the mail-in ballot applications in the required mailing of the wording of the Constitutional Amendment that has to be mailed to voters ahead of the Nov. 3rd election.
"The law requires the state to send out a mailing regarding Constitutional Amendments on the ballot and so it just makes sense to include the applications in these mailings," Oberweis said. "This would be the most economical and responsible way to handle the mail-in ballot applications, saving taxpayers millions of dollars. The Democrat majority was not interested in this approach because the goal here is not to be responsive to the needs of the electorate, but rather to make sure they keep their majority in the House and the Senate. Democrats accuse Republicans of trying to suppress voter turnout but clearly Republicans are trying to increase voter turnout by making ballot applications available to all registered voters. Republicans are also concerned about voter fraud because voter fraud lessens the value of every legitimate vote."
Oberweis said he has and will continue to encourage voters to vote by mail.
"Voting by mail is a safe and convenient way to vote," Oberweis said. "Republicans especially tend to vote in person but there are times when things happen preventing folks from voting on Election Day. If just 3 or 4% of Republicans intending to vote don't vote, that can easily change the result of many elections. Voting by mail is a viable option and one all voters should consider. We can't let Democrats continue to beat us by getting their voters to vote by mail."