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This entry was published on 2024-01-05
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SECTION 11-308
Special ballots for emergency responders
Election (ELN) CHAPTER 17, ARTICLE 11, TITLE 3
§ 11-308. Special ballots for emergency responders. 1. A registered
voter who serves as an emergency responder in times of emergency, as
declared by the governor or a court of competent jurisdiction, may apply
to the board of elections by letter or special application via mail,
facsimile or e-mail, for a special ballot. Such application or letter
may be delivered to the board of elections at any time prior to any
election, without regard to deadlines for the receipt of early mail or
absentee ballot applications.

2. Emergency responders may utilize an early mail or absentee ballot
application to request a special ballot, or may file a written statement
that he or she will be unable to appear at the polling place on the day
of an election because his or her duties as an emergency responder
require such voter to be elsewhere. The emergency responder shall
designate a preference for the receipt of a special ballot. The board of
elections shall provide such voter a special ballot immediately upon
such request, and shall utilize overnight express delivery for such mail
ballot delivery. If the designated preference is for facsimile or
electronic transmission, the ballot shall be furnished in the same
manner applicable to military voters who request ballots in such format.

3. Such cast ballots may be delivered to any office of any board of
elections in the state, or to any open poll site not later than the
close of the polls on election day.

4. Emergency responders shall receive assistance from any board of
elections in the state in relation to applying for, casting and return
delivery of a special ballot, including facsimile and electronic
transmission services, ballot envelope templates if necessary, and any
other component of the special ballot election process that will help
ensure the enfranchisement of such emergency responder.

5. Emergency responder special ballots received by boards of elections
from voters under the jurisdiction of another board of elections shall
be date and time-stamped and immediately forwarded to the voter's board
of elections. Such ballots shall be timely if the time stamp of the
first receiving board of elections is timely. Such ballots shall be cast
and canvassed pursuant to the provisions of section 9-209 of this
chapter and where an emergency responder's ballot and envelope is not
standard in appearance, it shall be cast and canvassed consistent with
the provisions of section 10-125 of this chapter.

6. For purposes of this section, "emergency responders" shall include
all persons called upon to provide emergency support, relief or other
services, in the response to natural disasters, acts of terrorism or
sabotage, fire, power failure, and such other circumstances which prompt
the governor or a court of competent jurisdiction to declare such
emergency. Emergency responders include, but are not limited to, medical
personnel, military personnel, utility company or similar contract
employees, fire department personnel, police department personnel, local
and state emergency management personnel, and other state and local
government employees providing emergency response services.

7. The state board of elections shall develop and distribute to boards
of elections, sample forms and procedures to ensure the participation of
emergency responders in any election conducted by a board of elections.