How Will Illinois’ Push for Mail-In Balloting Affect Voter Confidence in the November 2020 Election?

Brian J. Gaines, Kent Redfield, Christopher Z. Mooney

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther report


The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in most states making numerous changes to electoral procedures, in an effort to assist those voters wishing to avoid crowded polling places, and the health risks they pose. Illinois, like most others, will permit in-person voting, both on Election Day and in advance, but will also encourage voters to take advantage of mail-in voting. Survey data from recent years reveal that many voters, not without cause, worry slightly more about absentee or mail ballots not being counted, and may believe that fraud is more likely when voting is remote. To boost confidence in the integrity of the 2020 election, accordingly, we recommend that Illinois officials publicize details of the new rules, caution about some likely consequences, including delayed final results, and strive to ensure uniform application of rules. Generally, any important change in voting procedures should be accompanied by some public-service education campaign. With many changes being made, on a temporary, emergency basis, election officials and the voting public alike will face unusual challenges, and could require more help than usual from the state
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherInstitute of Government and Public Affairs, University of Illinois
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Jul 2020

Publication series

NamePolicy Spotlight


  • mail
  • absentee
  • elections
  • authority
  • election
  • voting
  • research
  • accessed


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