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Illinois voters now have choice to automatically receive a mail ballot each election

Macoupin County Clerk Pete Duncan recently announced that the state had approved giving voters the choice of receiving a mail ballot each election without applying each time.

Voters wanting to be placed on the permanent vote by mail list are required to apply for that list. Once they apply, they will remain on the list and have a ballot mailed to them each election going forward. If the voter requests to be removed from the list, there is a change to their registration, or they move out of county, they will be removed from the list and no longer receive a ballot in future elections.

Those desiring to apply can choose to receive a ballot at general elections and consolidated elections or a primary ballot for the party they put on their application each primary, as well as general elections and consolidated elections.

“I’m very happy that voters who have been voting by mail for years and years will now have the option of requesting a ballot automatically if they so choose,” Duncan said. “I’m all for giving voters more choices on how they want to vote. For those who only want to vote at their polling place on Election Day, they can still do that. For those who do apply to vote by mail each election, this is an option that may make sense for you.”

Duncan said this will be more cost-effective and efficient for elections going forward.

“There are quite a few voters in Macoupin who have voted by mail each election since I’ve become County Clerk and some longer,” said Duncan. “Each election, we have probably mailed them an application, and they’ve mailed it back to get their ballot. While it’s not a lot of postage and costs, eliminating that step by that voter going on the permanent mail ballot list does save money. It also helps our election office since we will have a head start on vote by mail ballot mailing. We will know going in how many permanent mail ballots are going out, and can get them to voters right away.”

Those wishing to apply to vote by mail for just the June 28 primary election can begin applying on Mar. 30. Ballots will begin being mailed to voters in mid-May.

“Applying now is the first step towards being able to vote from your own home at your convenience,” Duncan said.

Since 2020, all vote by mail ballots have the U.S. Post Office Intelligent Barcode tracking on them, so voters can receive texts or emails of their ballots being sent to them and mailed back to the office. This also sends a notification once the ballot is counted or rejected.

Those wishing to apply can call the Election Office at (217) 854-3214 ext. 918 or apply online at and click ‘Apply for Vote by Mail Ballot’ under ‘What’s New.”