The DeKalb County Clerk isn’t planning on setting up more ballot drop boxes but still believes this year’s election will be secure. Clerk Doug Johnson says his office has received 10,800 applications to vote by mail in the November election so far while just 1,600 vote-by-mail ballots were cast in the last election.
Even with the increase, when asked during a virtual town hall Tuesday night if ballots will be safe and secure, he responded “most definitely.”
Some counties have set up drop boxes for voters who are worried that delivery of their ballot will be delayed by the influx of mail-in voting that the post office will be handling this year because of COVID-19 concerns.
But Johnson says after consulting with other clerks, lawyers and political science professors, he doesn’t believe the county can set up a drop box that complies with state law. He adds that other clerks are putting them in the county seat, which he feels would be unfair to the rest of the county, and he says it would be another duty for the election staff since the boxes need to be emptied daily with the ballots processed the next day.
There is one drop box available during normal business hours in the clerk’s office in the Administration Building in Sycamore.
Ballots will start to go out on Sept. 24. Those returned by Election Day will be counted that night, but there will be another two weeks for ballots to come in and be counted before the results are certified.
Johnson spoke at a virtual Town Hall put on by the DeKalb County League of Women Voters and the NIU All In Democracy Challenge Team.