County Clerk Reminds Early Voting Available Including Saturday Ahead of Tuesday Election

By Jeremy Coumbes on March 30, 2023 at 1:20pm

The April Consolidated Election is right around the corner with election day looming next Tuesday. Morgan County Clerk Jill Waggener is encouraging everyone to get out and vote as there are a number of contested elections in this locally focused election.

She says out of 982 vote-by-mail ballots her office sent out, nearly 400 have been returned, and 145 people have come into early vote at the courthouse.

Waggener says those are not big numbers, however, she is pleasantly surprised by the turnout. She says even though there are no state or national seats up for election this time around, there are several races to keep a close watch for on Tuesday that will hopefully see strong voter turnout.

I see maybe South Jacksonville having maybe a larger turnout because there is a race for Village President. One of the candidates is a write-in who as I understand has been letting it be known that she is a write-in candidate, and then of course the school board has a number of candidates and just four seats open here in Jacksonville. Then there are a few other races that don’t involve everyone in the entire county but pockets of voters here and there”.

Another contested race is in Jacksonville’s Ward 3 where incumbent Aaron Scott is being challenged by Lori Littleton. Former South Jacksonville Village Trustee Stacy Pinkerton is reportedly challenging Dick Samples for the Village President’s Office.

The County Clerk’s Office will be open for walk-in early voting this Saturday in an effort to give everyone a chance to cast their vote. The consolidated election historically has some of the lowest totals of voter turnout, but Waggener says this point in the election cycle should ideally have some of the highest.

Especially in this race because you are voting for municipalities, you are voting for school boards, you are voting for library trustees. These are the things that affect you on a local level. State and federal of course do but of course, that’s the entire country, but this race is entirely local. So get out, get out and vote, let your voice be known.

Waggener says another reason people should be motivated to vote, is because no matter how many people show up at the polls, their tax dollars are still paying for a full election. “And people don’t realize that whether ten people or 20,000 people, we have 22,000 registered voters in Morgan County, my cost is still the same no matter how many people get out and vote.

And it’s expensive and people don’t realize how much it costs and what goes into every election, so that’s why I always encourage people to take advantage and excessive your right to vote.”

Early voting is currently being held at the Morgan County Clerk’s Office on the first floor of the Morgan County Courthouse from 8:30 to 4:30 Friday and Monday, with special hours for early voting on Saturday from 9:00 am to noon.

Waggener reminds the public that on election day, her office will be closed to all other business that is not election-related.