A new bill that would postpone Illinois’ primary next year from March to June advanced in the General Assembly Monday.
Senate Bill 825, which includes several election-related proposals, would shift the March 15 primary to June 28 as lawmakers await census data that was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The bill also includes plans to make curbside voting a permanent fixture, create polling places in certain jails and make the Nov. 8, 2022 general election a holiday, as it was in 2020.
It “establishes new cyber security requirements for election authorities” and “requires every county to have one universal voting center for the 2022 primary and general election,” according to Rep. Maurice West, a sponsor of the bill.
The bill passed the House Ethics & Elections Committee 11-7 Monday.
With the date change for the primary election would come a host of other changes.
Under the proposal, petitions from candidates would begin on Jan. 13 and be filed with the State Board of Elections between March 7 and 14, residents would be able to seek vote-by-mail ballots beginning March 30 and no later than June 23, and in-person early voting would begin May 19 – among other changes.
The measure comes as lawmakers await the release of “block-level” population and demographic data from the 2020 Census, which is not scheduled to be released until mid-August at the earliest.
The data is usually given to states in March each year following the Census, in time for states to use it in the redistricting process. But this cycle’s delay puts the data release well after the June 30 deadline for new maps that’s mandated in the Illinois Constitution.