DIXON – A record-breaking number of people have voted early or absentee in Lee County, and the pace has been steady in Whiteside County too, election officials said.
As of Tuesday afternoon, 2,194 people had voted, either by mail or in person, Lee County Clerk and Recorder Cathy Myers said.
Four years ago, 1,781 absentee ballots were cast.
Myers attributes the high turnout to people “just wanting to have their voices heard.”
Changes in the law that allow people to vote absentee without needing an excuse, and early voting periods, make voting more convenient, she said.
In fact, people can vote at the courthouse from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.
Whiteside County Clerk Dana Nelson also has seen a steady stream of voters. As of Tuesday afternoon, 2,770 early or absentee votes had been cast, she said.
Fifty to 100 voters have come to the courthouse every day since early voting began Sept. 27. Saturday morning, 57 people voted over the course of 3 hours, she said.
“A lot of them like the convenience,” Nelson said. “Typically, there is no waiting. They don’t have to worry about the weather, don’t have to worry if it is going to be rainy. Convenience is a factor.”
With 4 days to go, early voting so far has not broken Whiteside County records: Four years ago, more than 3,000 early or absentee ballots were cast. There also is one fewer week in this election cycle to vote early, which means numbers will be lower, Nelson said.
In Ogle County, Clerk Rebecca Huntley said 1,565 voters had taken advantage of early voting as of Tuesday afternoon. Four years ago, 3,070 people voted early.
Huntley expects a busy final week, but doesn’t think the number of early votes will surpass that of 4 years ago.
Election Day is Nov. 6.
Grace period registration and voting, and early voting for people already registered, is available through Saturday. Those who register to vote during the grace period must vote immediately after they register.
Illinois residents can also vote absentee by mail or in person through Monday. Election Day is Tuesday.
Early voters must have a photo ID or voter registration card. No ID is required to vote absentee.
To vote early
- In Whiteside County, at the Whiteside County Courthouse, 200 E. Knox St. in Morrison, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 3.
- In Lee County, at the Old Lee County Courthouse, 112 E. Second St. in Dixon, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 3.
- In Ogle County, at the courthouse at 105 S. Fifth St., in Oregon, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 3.