Absentee Voting Starts in Champaign County
By Sean Powers
Absentee voting for the November General Election starts Thursday in Champaign County.
County Clerk Gordy Hulten said people who will be in the area on Election Day, but would rather vote early can also submit an absentee ballot. He said the only major difference for people who vote early is that they will need to show a photo identification.
Hulten said the county is trying to make absentee voting easier this year. Previously voters would have to send a request to the county clerk’s office for an absentee ballot. Then, the office would generate the ballot application, mail it to the voters, who would then have to fill out the application and send it back for processing.
“Now, a voter can go to our website, generate their own personalized ballot application, print it out, sign it, and mail it to us, and save an entire step of mailing it,” Hulten said.
Registered voters can request to vote by mail by visiting the <a href="http://www.champaigncountyclerk.com/">county clerk’s website</a>, and filling out an online form for an absentee ballot. They can also call the county clerk’s office at 217-384-3724, or by emailing <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>
“For this election, we’re hoping somewhere in the neighborhood of 12-to-15 percent of the total county voter turnout will come from early and absentee voting,” Hulten added.
Another change this year is that there are more places for early voting, which begins on Oct. 22.
Earlier this year, <a href="http://will.illinois.edu/news/spotstory/champaign-county-expands-early-voting-options/">Hulten announced</a> that in addition to the Brookens Administrative Center in Urbana, seven other locations across the county will submit early ballots, including the University of Illinois’ Illini Union.
The last day to register to vote in the Nov. 6 election is Oct. 9.