Mike Bost and Judicial Watch have filed a federal lawsuit to prevent Illinois election officials from extending Election Day for 14 days beyond the date established by Congress. They argue that Illinois election law violates federal law, which defines Election Day as “the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of every even-numbered year.”
“Illinoisans, like many Americans, have experienced a deep erosion of trust in our election system. I believe it is critical that we do all we can to restore their confidence; and that begins with addressing the issue of mail-in voting,” said Bost. “The purpose of this lawsuit is to ensure that vote-by-mail ballots are postmarked and received by Election Day, just as federal law requires. We cannot continue to allow ballots without a postmark to arrive and be counted weeks after Election Day. I am proud to take this action today and will continue to do all I can to ensure the integrity of our elections is preserved.”
Current Illinois election law allows vote-by-mail ballots received up to 14 days after the polls close on Election Day to be counted as if they were cast and received on or before Election Day. Illinois law also provides that even vote-by-mail ballots without postmarks shall be counted if received up to 14 calendar days after Election Day if the ballots are dated on or before Election Day.
The lawsuit notes that [Illinois’ own data indicates that] Illinois received 266,417 vote-by-mail ballots statewide during the period from November 3rd through November 17th in 2020. Most of the 266,417 vote-by-mail ballots were received after Election Day, which would mean that as many as 4.4% of votes cast in 2020 were received after Election Day.
“We are supposed to have an Election Day, not Election Weeks – or months.” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Illinois’ 14-day extension of Election Day beyond the date set by Congress is illegal, violates the civil rights of voters, and encourages fraud.” You can read the lawsuit here.