Voting begins in Illinois, postal poll papers are despatched out

Early voting for the November election began Thursday in most of Illinois. Local electoral authorities can also begin sending out 1.8 million postal votes.

Although voting begins 40 days before election day, most voters cast their vote the week before that day, said Illinois State Board of Elections spokesman Matt Dietrich.

“It can even lead to queues and some bottlenecks in early choice places. We try to avoid a crowd; We try to avoid people having to stand in line, ”he said. “So if you want to vote early, remember to vote today, tomorrow (or) in the first few weeks of October.”

Precautions against the spread of COVID-19 at polling stations include plexiglass barriers, markings to keep waiting people away, and masked electoral officials and poll workers.

A list of polling stations can be found on the website of the National Electoral Committee. Voters in the city of Chicago can begin voting in October.

Dietrich said trends suggest that 30% of all votes cast in this election could account for what could beat the previous record of 9%. The laws passed in the spring expanded the options for voting by postal vote. Voters can return the ballot papers, take them to their local electoral offices – usually district offices – or use new ballot boxes.

About half of the 108 electoral authorities offer mailboxes, according to Dietrich. A list of their locations can be found on the website of the state electoral committee.

Dietrich said it was important that voters give them back in a timely manner.

“If there is a problem with your ballot, you want to make sure that the electoral authority has enough time to notify you and that you have enough time to get a new postal vote to resubmit,” he said.

Most of the problems – such as an incorrectly sealed ballot or questions about the signature – can be solved, said Dietrich.

The deadline for applying for a postal vote is October 29th. Ballot papers that are returned must be postmarked by November 3rd – election day – to be counted, but electoral authorities encourage people to send them in well in advance.

Copyright 2020 NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

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