RAIN DAY? YOU MIGHT CONSIDER EARLY VOTING

Tricia Braid

Sep, 30, 2016  |  Today's News

Much of Illinois has seen some rain in the past 24-36 hours, so that may mean you have a break from harvest. You might consider taking advantage of early voting that is available in many counties in Illinois now. Illinois Corn Growers Association encourages its members to participate in the political process. Read the full story for more information.

Early voting in Illinois began earlier this week. You can find out where you can vote in your county at this link: https://www.elections.il.gov/VotingInformation/EarlyVotingLocations.aspx

Here are some frequently asked questions about early voting.

WHAT IS EARLY VOTING?

Registered voters may cast a ballot prior to Election Day without having to provide a reason for wanting to vote early. This ballot is cast by personal appearance at the office of the election authority or at an Early Voting Center.

WHY DO WE HAVE EARLY VOTING?

A major reason for early voting is to encourage greater participation in the election process. People who travel for business, work long hours or are otherwise inconvenienced by the hours the polls are open on Election Day may find it easier to vote early.

WHO CAN VOTE EARLY IN ILLINOIS?

Any qualified voter may vote prior to Election Day at any site established for early voting by the election authority.

WHEN CAN EARLY VOTING OCCUR?

The period for early voting begins the 40th day preceding an election and extends through the end of the day before Election Day.

WHERE IS EARLY VOTING HELD?

Each election authority generally determines the locations and hours for early voting, subject to certain requirements placed on permanent polling places for early voting. An election authority may establish permanent and temporary polling places for early voting at locations throughout the election authority’s jurisdiction, including but not limited to a municipal clerk’s office, a township clerk’s office, a road district clerk’s office, or a county or local public agency office. During each general primary and general election, each election authority in a county with a population over 250,000 shall establish at least one permanent polling place for early voting within each of the largest municipalities within its jurisdiction, and if any of the 3 largest municipalities is over 80,000, the election authority shall establish at least 2 permanent polling places within the municipality. Each board of election commissioners in any city, village, or incorporated town with a population over 100,000 shall establish at least 2 permanent polling places for early voting, and each election authority in a county with a population between 100,000 and 250,000 shall establish at least one permanent polling place. Each election authority shall determine and publish a list of the locations, dates and hours of each early voting site in his or her jurisdiction. Also, a list of early voting hours and locations will be available on the Illinois State Board of Elections website (www.elections.il.gov) at least 10 days prior to the beginning of any Early Voting Period.

ARE POLLWATCHERS ALLOWED AT EARLY VOTING SITES?

Yes. Like at the regular polling places on Election Day, pollwatchers may be appointed to observe early voting by personal appearance at each permanent and temporary polling place where early voting is conducted.

CAN A PERSON REQUEST AN EARLY VOTING BALLOT IF THEY WERE ALREADY ISSUED A VOTE BY MAIL BALLOT?

Yes. A qualified voter to whom a vote by mail ballot was issued, may vote early if he or she submits that vote by mail ballot for cancellation to the judges or election official conducting early voting. If the voter is unable to submit the vote by mail ballot, it shall be sufficient for the voter to submit to the judges or election official (i) a portion of the vote by mail ballot if the vote by mail ballot was torn or mutilated or (ii) an affidavit executed before the judges or election official specifying that the voter never received a vote by mail ballot or the voter completed and returned a vote by mail ballot and was informed that the election authority did not receive that vote by mail ballot.

WHEN WILL MY EARLY VOTED BALLOT BE COUNTED?

The votes cast during the early voting period will not be counted until after the polls close on Election Day.

IS ELECTIONEERING ALLOWED AT EARLY VOTING SITES?

No. Electioneering is prohibited at the early voting site and a campaign-free zone will be established like it is at the polling place on Election Day.