Will County Clerk Lauren Staley Ferry Offers New Vote By Mail Technology to Vision-Impaired Voters
The Will County Clerk’s Office is offering visually impaired voters in Will County an option to vote by mail without assistance in the 2020 election due to a system that allows voters to use audio instructions to navigate and mark their ballots. The system, known as Accessible Vote By Mail, is similar to the Illinois State Board of Elections’ Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment process that allows overseas military personnel to receive a ballot electronically then return a marked hard copy to an election authority for voting. Users of AVBM must apply for a regular Vote By Mail Ballot and then request an accessible Vote By Mail Ballot from the County Clerk’s Office by phone at (815) 740-4615, email at [email protected], online at www.thewillcountyclerk.com, or in person at 302 N. Chicago St. in downtown Joliet.
After following audio directions to navigate and mark the ballot electronically, an AVBM voter prints the ballot and returns it to the election authority in the secure Vote By Mail Envelope. As with all voters casting ballots by mail, users of AVBM will receive instructions to follow their ballots as they are delivered to the local election authority and recorded. Applications for Vote By Mail ballots can be submitted through Oct. 29. Voters are encouraged to apply now to allow sufficient time for delivery and return of ballots. Returned Vote By Mail Ballots must be postmarked no later than Nov. 3. Properly postmarked ballots that arrive through Nov. 17 will be counted.