Illinois Counties Weighing Their Options For Ballot Drop-Off

Aug 24, 2020

DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder Doug Johnson stands in front of marked boxes that hold original paper ballots from the 2016 general election.
Credit Sarah Jesmer

Some Illinois counties plan to install mail-in drop boxes before the election. Others are still weighing their options. 

DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder Doug Johnson said he contacted city and village clerks about installing the boxes, but he said only Sandwich’s official seemed in favor of the idea.

“None of them seemed to think they had the resources or capability," he said. "We weren’t really requiring or looking at them to do anything other than install a box in their office at the village hall or city hall.”

Johnson said he’s not ruled out drop boxes, and is considering alternatives. He said he has confidence in the postal system’s ability to handle mail-in ballots and decried any partisan motivation.

“It’s just being fueled by the media," he said. "It’s being fueled by people that want voters to not trust their system in the United States, whether that be a foreign country, whether that be a terrorist group in our country, or just the parties. I think they’re trying to instill doubt in all the voters’ minds.”

Still, Johnson advised, DeKalb County residents should submit their ballots by mail as soon as they can to ensure that those ballots arrive in time to be counted.

Meanwhile, the Ogle County Courthouse in Oregon will have a secure ballot box nearby for residents voting by mail.