COVID closes State Board of Elections

A case of COVID-19 has shuttered the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Matt Dietrich, board spokesperson, said that "several" employees have shown symptoms. Dietrich said that he did not know a more precise number.

Board offices on MacArthur Boulevard were closed on Tuesday and will remain closed until Aug. 7. About 60 people work in the building, Dietrich said.

The board became aware of an issue on Sunday, Dietrich said, when an employee who had been in contact with an infected person began exhibiting symptoms. Employees were told of the issue, Dietrich said, and just two people were in the building on Monday, the deadline for filing objections to third-party candidates and ballot issues. Twenty-five objections were filed on Monday, Dietrich said, with objectors required to wear masks in the building while social distancing was maintained.

With outside observers present, the agency is due to review objections on Aug. 6, one day before the building is scheduled to reopen, Dietrich said. "We'll have to make some provisions to do that," he said. If the review takes place on Aug. 7, the November election will not be affected, he added. "If we have to wait an extra day, it's not a crisis," Dietrich said.

A phased reopening of the agency began last  month, when 25 percent of the staff returned to the building. Last week, 75 percent of the staff was back, Dietrich said, and the agency had been scheduled to return to full staffing next week.

Contact Bruce Rushton at

About The Author

Bruce Rushton

Bruce Rushton is a freelance journalist.

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