Archive for Voting

VOTE EARLY, NO NEED TO WAIT

In Illinois, we have early voting. You can cast your ballot before election day. Just visit the office of the your County Clerk. In Williamson County the Circuit Clerk office is in the new Administrative Building beside the Courthouse at 407 N. Monroe St, in Marion.

Are you sure you registered to vote after the last time you changed your residence? If you’re not sure, you can check at www.elections.il.gov by clicking “Am I Registered to Vote in Illinois, or calling your local County Clerk (998-2112 in Williamson County).

This year early voting begins on October 20. The Clerk’s office is open weekdays from 8:00 until 4:00 – you can vote anytime between those hours. On Saturday October 18th, Saturday October 25th and Saturday November 1st. In Williamson County you can vote at the Clerk’s office from 8:00 a.m. until noon on those Saturdays. Early voting ends on Saturday November 1 at noon. For other counties, call your clerk to see if voting on Saturday is an option.

If you haven’t yet registered to vote, you can still do so at your County Clerk’s Office October 8 through November 4. You can even register and still vote on election day.

To vote, in Williamson County, just enter the new County Government annex at its south entrance. You will be required to walk through a metal detector (so leave pocket knives, or nail clippers in your car).

Early voters must present something with their signature: such as a driver’s license, state ID, or voter’s registration card.

You will be given the same ballot you would get had you voted in your regular polling place.

Any registered voter who meets the above qualifications may vote early for any reason, or no reason at all.

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ABSENTEE VOTING IN ILLINOIS

So you don’t like waiting in line at a polling place, or you just prefer to keep it your own personal business whether you vote or not – can you vote absentee? YES!

In Illinois, if you are a qualified, registered voter, you can request an absentee ballot beginning 90 days before an election. The next scheduled election is on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. In the past we were required to swear that we were going to be unavailable on election day before we could get an absentee ballot, but no more. Any reason is fine. The clerk will not even ask you for a reason.

Absentee ballot requests can be processed 90 days before an election, but the actual absentee ballot cannot be mailed to the voter until 40 days before the election, so this year no absentee ballots will be mailed to voters until September 25.

You can either visit your local County Clerk’s Office and request your ballot application, or give the clerk a call and ask that an absentee ballot application be mailed to you, or visit the Clerk’s website (in Williamson County, at WilliamsonCountyIL.gov) and print your own application. Complete the application and return it to your County Clerk.

After the request is processed, the ballot is mailed to the voter’s home. To be counted in the election, the absentee ballot must be accurately completed and post-marked by midnight the day before the election and must be received by the election authority within 14 days after election day to be counted, or if you prefer you can hand deliver your absentee ballot to the County Clerk. For general elections, the election authority is your County Clerk.

If you present the absentee ballot at your polling place on election day, it can be voided so you can vote a normal ballot. You have until 7:00 p.m. to personally hand deliver an absentee ballot to the Office of your County Clerk on election day if you so choose.

You must make a separate application for an absentee ballot for each election you choose to vote absentee – there is no such thing as permanent absentee voting.

Even absentee voting is still a secret endeavor. You are not allowed to give the ballot to someone else to fill out for you. When you vote absentee you will be required to sign an affidavit stating that the information on your request is valid, and that you have done the voting. Voter fraud is a criminal offense.

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