The Morgan County Commissioners were told Monday morning that early voting is still going strong at the Morgan County Courthouse in the week leading up to the election. Morgan County Clerk Jill Waggoner said that approximately 162 voters showed up for extended hours this past Saturday. She expects that more will also show this coming Saturday. Today, is the final day that mail in ballots can be requested and sent out by county clerks around the state.
Waggoner says that roughly 22% of the county’s registered voters have already shown up to vote as of Monday: “I feel like we are having a good turn out for both of them. Our early voting numbers are a little over 2,200 and our vote by mail ballots are a little over 2,400. We still had six days to go when I tabulated those numbers. These numbers are going to increase quite a bit over the next few days.”
Waggoner says she thought numbers would be higher, especially considering what is happening around the nation: “I really thought that the numbers might be a little bit higher. I have seen higher numbers in previous elections, but we have 5 days until the election. I’ll have a 1/2 day of early voting this Saturday. I look for these numbers to jump quite a bit. Plus, for the remainder of this week I am open until 7PM today and Friday. It will maybe give those people who work in Springfield or out of town time to get in here and early vote if they choose.”
Waggoner says she currently has enough election judges and says that voters need to pay attention to new procedures if the wish to vote in person: “Once again, I stress that if it is medically possible to wear a mask into the voting precinct, please do so not only for your safety but for the judge’s safety and anyone else that is in that polling place at the same time. I just look at it as an act of courtesy. If at all possible, for those 10-15 minutes that you might be in that polling place, if you can wear a mask, I am asking you to do that.”
She says that disposable face masks will be available at polling places on Election Day if you don’t currently own one. Waggoner also wishes to remind people not to wear any campaign material from local or national elections to the polling places including face masks, hats, buttons, and shirts featuring candidates. Electioneering is illegal, and Waggoner says election judges will politely ask you to remove it before you enter the polling place or to cover it up: “I never want confrontations between my election judges and voters, so this is just a gentle and friendly reminder, again, for those 10-15 minutes you are in a polling place, please don’t wear any slogans, any names [of candidates] whether it is federal, state, or local levels.”
Waggoner says she expects Morgan County to be at or above the 65% turnout at the last presidential election in 2016.
In a reminder today, the deadline to request a mail in ballot in Illinois is today. Your ballot must be postmarked by Election Day and received no later than Tuesday, November 17th to be tabulated.