What do you get when you mix a presidential election with a pandemic? Likely, a record number of votes by mail. As part of a new Illinois law, Sangamon County sent vote-by-mail applications to every registered voter. "This year, we have recorded more than double the number of early votes cast three weeks before the 2016 election," a release from the Illinois State Board of Elections said. The deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot is Oct. 29, though election authorities encouraged voters to have submitted applications already, by Oct. 15. In Springfield, mail-in ballots can either be sent back by Nov. 3 – though authorities urge ballots are mailed as soon as possible – or returned to two drop boxes, one outside the County Complex (200 S. 9th Street) and another at 2201 S. Dirksen Pkwy. The deadline to register to vote online has passed, but people can register at early voting locations and at their polling place through Election Day. Early voting locations and hours can be found at: tinyurl.com/y3ry3tjm

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