Montgomery County Clerk Sandy Leitheiser announced that a drive-thru ballot drop box has been installed for Montgomery County voters who wish to vote by mail but do not want to use the United States Postal Service (USPS) to deliver their ballots. The drop box is located on the north side of the Historic Courthouse in Hillsboro, at one of 15 minute parking spots. It is designated with the sign “Ballot Drop Box Use Only.”
Voters are encouraged to use this location to drop their ballot off and leave, keeping the box open for all voters to use. Hillsboro Police Department approved the use of this location for ballot drop off during the voting period. It will return to 15 minute parking signage and use when election season is over.
The drop box will be emptied frequently by two county clerk staff (one Democrat and one Republican) and stamped as received, seven days a week through Tuesday, Nov. 3. Voters are reminded to make sure their ballot is properly secured in the envelopes provided and to sign and date their certification envelope.
“With concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic and potential mail delays, there is a high demand from voters for a way to safely return their ballot without leaving their vehicle,” Leitheiser said. “By installing this ballot drop box, we hope to meet this demand. The drop box will enable us to receive more vote by mail ballots before election day, allowing them to be included in the election night results.”
Leitheiser went on to thank the Montgomery County Highway Department workers for installing the official ballot drop box into a concrete pad, which meets Illinois State Board of Elections’ legal requirements. The drop box also has 24/7 video surveillance protection.
Leitheiser stated that despite all precaution any outdoor drop box carries a tampering risk, but that she is hopeful the public will respect the drop box so the privilege of having it may be offered again in future elections.
The deadline to apply for a vote by mail ballot is Thursday, Oct. 29. Ballots must be USPS postmarked or File Stamped by the county clerk’s office no later than election day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, to be accepted. Postmarked ballots will be accepted through Tuesday, Nov. 17.
Those that choose to vote by mail have several options. They may return their ballot using the ballot drop box.
They may physically drop their vote by mail ballot off at the county clerk’s office or mail their ballot to the county clerk via USPS. Voters may also authorize (in writing) for another voter to drop their ballot off to the Montgomery County Clerk’s Office, using the provided form.
Those that choose to vote in person may vote early at the Early Voting Center at the Historic Courthouse or vote on election day at their designated polling place, which will adhere to COVID-19 prevention guidelines. Those that choose to vote in person are asked to wear a mask and social distance.
Questions concerning the elections process may be directed to the county clerk’s office via their website at montgomeryco.com, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 217-532-9530.