Early voting for the March 19th primary began Thursday.
Morgan County Clerk Jill Waggener says her office is ready to accept early voters: “My office hours are 8:30AM-4:30PM Monday through Friday. We will be open Saturday, February 17th from 9AM-Noon. The last day to register to vote is Tuesday, February 20th. Then, we are also open on Saturday, March 16th from 9AM-Noon. To early vote, just come to my office. My staff will ask you a couple of questions to verify your identity, and then we will take you to the election room across the hall so you can vote.”
Waggener says that ballots are printed and ready to go. She says that despite the sudden passing of Circuit Clerk Julia Anderson on Monday and the continued questions surrounding presidential candidates, the ballots are remaining as is: “The ballot will remain unchanged. I am going with the ballot the way that it is. At this point, it’s too late to remove Julie’s name from the ballot. I have talked to the State Board of Elections and I know the procedure that we will follow through the election and what will happen on March 19th at the end of the night. I don’t see any issues with that. My election vendor was here on Monday to get everything up and running. My machines were loaded with the election so we would be ready on Thursday.”
Waggener says as far as presidential candidates are concerned, the State of Illinois is awaiting any decisions from the Illinois Supreme Court or the U.S. Supreme Court: “I think like many, everybody is just waiting like many other states, but everything is going ahead and is ready to go.”
Mail-in ballots were printed this week to go out in the postal mail within the week. The last day to accept a mail-in ballot application is March 14th. Waggener recommends you place that application several days before that due date because of the postal mail’s schedule: “I tell people if by March 14th you’re mailing in an application, you might as well just come into my office and vote. By the time we would send out an application and someone would get it in the mail, fill it out, and return it – you won’t have time to get a ballot mailed in time for it to count. I would just suggest at that point by March 13th – 16th or even the 18th – if you don’t want to go to your designated precinct on March 19th, we are here in the office at the courthouse and ready to help you vote.”
Waggener says if you are interested in becoming an election judge, there is still an opportunity to get trained to do that. The pay for election judge increased this year to $225, up from $200 last year. Waggener says if you are interested in becoming an election judge or have any further questions concerning voting or the March primary, call her office at 217-243-8581 during regular office hours.