Mt. Vernon Register-News

November 2, 2012

Saturday last chance for early voting

Grace registration also ends Nov. 3

Staff Writer

MT. VERNON — Saturday is the last day to early vote or to grace register to vote in Illinois, and the Jefferson County Clerk’s office will be open to accommodate voters from 8 a.m. to noon.

“Since this Saturday is the last day to early vote, we are required to be open at least four hours,” said Connie Simmons, Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder. “We will be helping people who are early voting or grace period voting only.”

Simmons said grace period voting is for those who have moved, never registered or had a name change and haven’t changed their voter registration. Early voting is for those who are registered to vote under their current name and address.

Monday, in person absentee voting will be held, Simmons said.

“In person absentee voting started Sept. 27 through Oct. 19,” Simmons explained. “On Oct. 22, early voting started. Then, we go back to do the in-person voting. The only difference in the in-person early voting is there is a different form for voters to sign.”

In-person voting also used to be known only as absentee voting, which had a rule change in 2009.

“It used to be that in-person early voters had to state a reason they were voting absentee,” Simmons said. “They don’t have to do that anymore.”

To vote early or for grace period voting, voters are required to show a photo identification.

“When people vote at their polling place on Tuesday, they don’t have to show a photo ID unless there is a question on their identity. If they are challenged, they might need it,” Simmons said.

Simmons said all is in readiness for Tuesday, Nov. 6.

“Everything has been tested, filled and ready to go,” Simmons said. “We will deliver the handicapped machines on Monday, and election judges will pick up supplies on Monday.”

Simmons said there are no changes in voting places from the Primary, but those who did not vote in the Primary may want to check their orange voter registration card to be sure where they will vote.

“People who are in areas changed when the County Board consolidated precincts in 2011 might need to check their cards,” Simmons said. “If they don’t have a card, they can call us and we can tell them. It may be confusing to some, as there used to be 14 Mt. Vernon precincts, and now there are 10; we used to have four for Shiloh, and now we have five; and we had two McClellan precincts and now there is one. That might be confusing to people.”

Any questions about the early and grace voting and where people vote may be directed to the County Clerk’s office at 244-8020, ext. 3, then option 2.