CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill (WCIA) — The Champaign county clerk is looking ahead to November after lawmakers passed a bill that could expand mail-in voting.

Lawmakers debated the bill for hours last week before passing it, and it’s now on the governor’s desk.

Vote by mail applications will be able to go out to anyone who has voted in Illinois since 2018.

The bill is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Clerk Aaron Ammons says it is important to remember that there is a difference between an application and an actual ballot.

The application has to be filled out and sent back for approval.

Ammons says he plans to install secure drop boxes in Champaign County.

“They are secure places for people to put their ballots without having to use postage. So, this will save the taxpayers money,” says Ammons. “After we do the one-time, upfront cost to implement the drop boxes, we will not have to pay for return postage.”

The drop boxes weigh hundreds of pounds and will be cemented into the ground. Five to six boxes should be installed across the county for the November election.

Nearly 5,000 people in the county requested vote by mail in the primary.