The March 15th primary is still 5 weeks away here in Illinois, but as White County Clerk Paula Dozier says, there’s no reason for voters here to feel disenfranchised because they should be able to vote. That’s thanks in large part to grace period, absentee and early voting which are all open now in White County. And while national media is only carrying presidential politics at this point, as Dozier says, there are some local races you need to pay attention to.
“On our ballot this year, we’ll have a U.S. Senator. We’ll have a 2 year unexpired term for Comptroller because of Topinka passing away. We have a State Representative and also locally, we have the Circuit Clerk, State’s Attorney, Coroner, a 2 year unexpired term for Supervisor of Assessments. We have county board members running in districts 2, 3 and 4. We have precinct committeemen and we have 2 judges positions for the Appellate Court open.”
Voting early has become more and more popular over the last decade. The County Clerk thinks it’s due to a combination of reasons.
“I think there’s been so much advertisement and people who have actually come in and they really like the convenience of it. They don’t have to wait until election day. They come in, vote and cast their ballot all at the time they come in to vote. Then, if the weather’s bad, they don’t have to worry about it. Their vote has already been counted.”
So if you’re interested, what can you expect when you show up at the courthouse?
“If you’re new to voting or just coming of voting age, you have the ability to do so through grace period voting. Absentee voting is now considered all by mail as those who’ve applied to absentee vote will have ballots mailed to them. Voting early takes place when you show up and vote the same day.”
The County Clerk’s office will be open special hours on Saturday, February 13th from 8am – noon for voter registration and early voting. The courthouse will be closed on the 12th and 15th in observance of Lincoln’s Birthday and President’s Day.