Sep 27

Vote by Mail Reminders

Posted on September 27, 2020 at 9:18 PM by Robert Watson

Based upon state statutes:
* 10 ILCS 5/2B-20,19-1, 19-2, 19-4, 19-5, 19-6, 19-8, 19-13, 29-20; 52 USC 21081(1)(A) and (B)*

As vote by mail ballots begin to be delivered, I encourage you to remember the following important points:
  • You may return your vote by mail ballot by mail, in-person, or at one of our drop boxes throughout the county.
  • You may request a new ballot at any time should you need to spoil the original one. In so doing, your original ballot will be nullified
  • You must sign the certification envelope into which the ballot is placed. Failure to do so will lead to your ballot being rejected
  • In signing the ballot envelope you are attesting that you personally marked the ballot in secret
  • If you need assistance with your ballot, a friend or relative may assist you. In such case, that person must complete the affidavit on the exterior of the ballot envelope as well
  • You must seal the ballot envelope. Failure to do so will result in your ballot being rejected.

If you have questions about completing or returning your ballot, please email our office at or by completing the Ask the Election Team a Question form on our website. We will answer voice mails left at 309-888-4350 also, but other options may have faster responses.

Kathy Michael
McLean County Clerk
Sep 24

Election Judge Waitlist

Posted on September 24, 2020 at 2:34 PM by Robert Watson

Thanks to everyone that has expressed interest in helping with the November election!

We've had well over 100 new election judge inquiries and all spots are filled.

At this time we are creating a wait list for those who express interest.We will keep your information on file and reach out should spaces become available in the future.
Sep 24

Early Voting Starts Today!

Posted on September 24, 2020 at 10:08 AM by Robert Watson

Today, Thursday, September 24, is the first day of early voting for McLean County residents!

Early voting will run through Monday, November 2.

While there will be numerous early voting locations throughout the early voting period, the only location open at this time is Grossinger Motors Arena in downtown Bloomington, which will be open from 8:30am-4:30pm today and tomorrow.

For a full list of early voting locations, visit the Early Voting Locations page.

*The Bloomington Election Commission shares the Grossinger Motor Arena space, but other locations, dates, and times may vary. For full information on their early voting plans, visit
Sep 18

Statement Regarding Vote by Mail Letter from the Secretary of State to Voters

Posted on September 18, 2020 at 10:27 PM by Robert Watson

Voters, We understand the confusion and frustration many of you may be feeling after receiving a letter from the Secretary of State’s office concerning your vote by mail application. We have received dozen of phone calls, emails, and personal visits from voters who are angry or seeking clarification on the status of their vote by mail application.

If you are uncertain of your vote by mail application status, please contact your local election authority and they will gladly let you know if (a) it has been received, (b) if it has been processed, and (c) if there were any issues with the application.

Below you will find a copy of a press release from McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael and Tim Mitchell, Executive Director, Bloomington Election Commission. In addition, this is a highlighted portion of Illinois Senate Bill 1863 (SB 1863), the new law passed this year regarding the 2020 General Election.

If you don’t have time to read the press release or SB 1863, there are a few takeaways we want to ensure you know.
  1. We only share information with the Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBE), which is legally mandated. The only information is whether or not someone has requested a vote by mail ballot.
  2. The status provided by the Secretary of State’s Office does not necessarily reflect the actual status in our office. We continue to process vote by mail applications which may not have been processed when the ISBE pulled the records to send the letter.
  3. The Secretary of State was legally mandated to send this letter, and much of the language in it, as a part of SB1863. The Secretary of State is also mandated to send a similar letter “No later than October 15, 2020."

Statement from McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael and Tim Mitchell Executive Director, Bloomington Election Commission on Vote by Mail Letter sent by Secretary of State’s Office to Voters

Over the past few days, many McLean County and City of Bloomington voters have received a letter from Secretary of State Jesse White’s office alerting them that they have not applied for a Vote by Mail ballot, and they should contact our office to complete their application. These letters have been sent to voters throughout Illinois from the Secretary of State’s office. These letters were not sent by our offices. Furthermore we were not informed of the content of the letter nor contacted to provide input.

The letters were part of the mandate of SB 1863, the election bill passed by the state legislature in May as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It requires election authorities, such as the McLean County Clerk, to send a mail ballot application to every voter who has voted in any of the past three elections. The law also stipulates that the Secretary of State shall send, by Sept. 15, 2020, a notice to any voter in Illinois who received an application for a vote by mail ballot but according to State Board of Elections records has not yet applied for a vote by mail ballot.

However, the notices do not accurately reflect the current status of Vote by Mail applications our offices have received from McLean County and City of Bloomington voters. Many voters who have applied for mail ballots, as well as voters who have no interest in voting by mail, have received these letters.

We assure those who have applied for ballots to be mailed that our offices have been processing your applications, and vote by mail ballots will be sent to voters who have requested them beginning September 24 and should start arriving in homes the following week. Voters will receive confirmation that your ballot has been received.

Several Early Voting opportunities and Election Day polling places will be available as always to any voters who prefer to utilize those options. All polling locations are scheduled to be open for in person voting on Election Day. Please check our websites for all election information. Early voting begins this coming Thursday, September 24 at our new location the Grossinger Motors Arena, downtown Bloomington from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.

Kathy Michael, McLean County Clerk

Tim Mitchell, Executive Director, Bloomington Election Commission

Sep 17

Polling Place IDPH Guidance

Posted on September 17, 2020 at 4:49 PM by Robert Watson

The Illinois Public Health Department (IDPH) has released guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in polling places for the November 2020 General Election.

This plan includes the following topics:
  • Polling locations plans Physical environments for polling locations
  • Shared objects Preventive actions in election polling places
  • Preventive actions for election judges
The McLean County Clerk's office takes the health and well-being of the public and election workers very seriously and will adhere to the guidelines provided by the IDPH.

To review the document in its entirety, you can download a PDF of the guidelines.
Sep 15

New Drop Box Locations Added!

Posted on September 15, 2020 at 10:26 AM by Robert Watson

County Clerk Kathy Michael and the Election Division are pleased to announce that additional ballot drop boxes will be available September 28 through November 2!

IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO MAIL YOUR BALLOT, you have the option of depositing your ballot in one of several securely located drop boxes around McLean County. Ballots will be collected daily by election judges so that no ballots will remain at any location overnight.


Drop boxes will be located in the following communities. To see specific locations, visit the Drop Box Locations page and view the Drop Box Location map.
  • Bloomington
  • Chenoa
  • Colfax
  • Downs
  • Heyworth
  • LeRoy
  • Lexington
  • Normal
  • Towanda
Sep 12

Four Polling Place Changes for Nov. 2020

Posted on September 12, 2020 at 1:38 PM by Robert Watson

Four of our Normal polling places will not be available for the November 2020 election. Voters in the affected precincts were mailed a letter recently informing them of their new polling place for the Nov. 3, 2020 election only.

The impacted polling places are:
 Precinct  Old Polling Place
 New Polling Place
 Normal 07
 Epiphany Church
 Journey Church
1302 E. College Ave.
Normal, IL
 Normal 10
 Evergreen Place
 Oakdale Elementary School
601 S. Adelaide St.
Normal, IL
 Normal 21
 McLean County Nursing Home
 Calvary Baptist Church
1017 N. School St.
Normal, IL
 Normal 29
 Unity Community Center
 Our Saviour Lutheran Church
1510 N. Main St.
Normal, IL

Sep 08

Drop Box Locations

Posted on September 8, 2020 at 9:59 PM by Robert Watson

McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael and the Election Division Team have been working on plans for safe and secure drop box locations across McLean County and will be announcing locations soon.

Drop boxes will be available for the first time this election cycle and provide another secure way for voters to submit their ballots, in lieu of mailing their ballot, early voting, or voting on election day at their Polling Place. Each drop box will be in a secure location, monitored by Democratic and Republican election judges. Ballots will be picked up daily by the election judges and taken back to the Government Center where they are placed in a fire-proof safe with the other ballots that have been received by mail. No ballots will remain at the the drop-box locations overnight.

Two drop box locations have been confirmed beginning September 28 through and November 2 from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm Monday through Friday:
  • The Government Center in Bloomington-Inside the building, Room 102.
  • The Grossinger Motors Arena, downtown Bloomington at 101 S. Madison Street; inside where Early Voting is also taking place.
Check our website for days and hours we are open for Early Voting. Additional drop box locations will be announced as they are confirmed and added to the Drop Box Map.

For the most up to date information follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and follow new posts on the Election News page.

Drop Box Security

The security of ballot drop boxes is extremely important. We continue to invest in identifying and securing locations where ballots will be safe and monitored by Democratic and Republican election judges. Ballots will be picked up daily. No ballots will remain at the drop sites overnight.
Aug 17

Are You Required to Vote by Mail if You Request a Vote by Mail Ballot?

Posted on August 17, 2020 at 8:20 AM by Robert Watson

Receiving your ballot in the mail does not commit you to voting by mail. Once you have filled in your ballot, sealed it, and mailed it you cannot vote again at your polling place or an early voting center. The key step there is mailing it.

You do NOT need to surrender your vote by mail ballot to vote in-person at a polling place.
For more information on provisional voting, visit the Illinois State Board of Elections.

When you go to your polling place, either on Election Day or during Early Voting, and attempt to check in, the election judge will see that you were mailed your ballot. At that time you can inform the election judge that you want to vote at the polling place instead. They will look you up, provide you with the correct ballot, have you vote, return the ballot to them and it will be placed in a large, secure Provisional Vote envelope.

This is a safeguard for anyone voting twice (by accident or otherwise).

How do we keep votes from counting twice? When you vote at the polling place, it immediately goes into the system. When your vote by mail ballot arrives at our office and we process that mail-in ballot, our system will indicate you voted on Election Day. The ballot submitted at the polling place is the vote that is counted. The other ballot is placed in a special, secure file in case we need to reference it, but is not counted. The first vote received and entered in the system by the voter, is the one that is processed.
Aug 03

2020 General Election Ballot Positions

Posted on August 3, 2020 at 10:06 PM by Robert Watson

The results for Ballot Position Lottery, held on May 1, 2020 at 11:00 am:
  1. Libertarian
  2. Democratic
  3. Republican