Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons utilizing funds from the CARES Act to add more secure drop boxes throughout Champaign and Urbana. There will also be ballot drop off events every Saturday in October in surrounding towns. From the press release:

Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons is utilizing CARES grant money to acquire vote by mail ballot drop boxes to make returning ballots easier for voters. There are two types of drop boxes. The stand-alone drop box is a ¼ inch steel, highly secure drop box that is permanent to the location. The contents are picked up daily by two Election Judges, one from each party. These boxes are in highly visible, well-trafficked areas with outdoor lighting. The boxes are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Any voter wanting to return their ballot by drop box must have it in the box by 7 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3rd.

DROP BOX LOCATIONS

  • Brookens Administration Building, 1776 E Washington St, Urbana, in the circle drive
  • Champaign Public Library, 200 W Green, Champaign, north of the mailbox on State Street
  • Champaign Public Library-Douglass Branch, 504 E Grove, Champaign, in the circle drive
  • Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, 201 W Kenyon Rd, Champaign, in the east parking lot
  • Sholem Pool, 2205 Sangamon Dr, Champaign, at the top of the circle drive
  • Urbana Public Library, 210 W Green, Urbana, in the parking lot
  • University of Illinois Quad, 1401 W Green St, northwest corner, accessible by foot or bike only

The ballot drop box program is a pilot program for the state of Illinois and due to the cost of purchasing the boxes and requirements of emptying the boxes every day, the Clerk’s Office does not have the capacity to station permanent boxes throughout the entire county. If drop boxes become a staple of the Illinois election process, permanent boxes will be added to towns outside of Champaign-Urbana.

For this election to provide a similar level of access to voters across the county, the Clerk’s Office will hold “drive & drop” events every Saturday in October from 1 to 3 p.m. at the locations listed below. Election Judges, one from each party, will be on site with a secure, portable ballot box and voters can drive up and drop their ballot in the box. After the drive and drop session, the Judges will drive the ballots directly back to the Clerk’s Office to be processed.

DRIVE & DROP DATES, TIMES, & LOCATIONS

  • Lake of the Woods, Elk’s Pavilion, 301 Senna Drive, Mahomet, IL 61853
  • The Rantoul Township Building, 121 N. Garrard, Rantoul, IL 61866
  • Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 802 East Douglas Street, St. Joseph, IL 61873
  • Tolono Public Library, 111 East Main Street, Tolono, IL 61880

The drop boxes and the drive and drop events have the same protections as a standard polling location. There is no electioneering within 100 feet of the box.

Clerk Ammons would like to thank all the community partners working with the Clerk’s Office to ensure installation of the boxes. Including the cities of Urbana and Champaign, the Champaign Park District, CU Public Health, the University of Illinois, and the Champaign County Facilities Department for their assistance with the installation of the drop boxes.

Photo by Julie McClure