Early voting begins Thursday in Illinois

Published: May. 18, 2022 at 6:37 PM CDT
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PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) - Early voting begins Thursday for the June statewide primary elections, and Illinois voters have no shortage of options to cast their ballots.

Voters have three main options, including voting early in-person, voting on Election Day in-person or voting by mail. Peoria County Election Commission Executive Director Tom Bride says the choice is to keep it simple.

“I think it’s more what they are comfortable with,” Bride said. “If they’ve always voted on Election Day in their polling place, they can feel comfortable to go there... We have all the options.”

Peoria County is using a brand new voting system, with standardized paper ballots for all and state-of-the-art security procedures in place.

“We’ve got chain of custody for on everything. We verify the seals on everything daily,” Bride said. “Everything is sealed up and returned to the office by a team of judges.”

Starting Thursday, Peoria County voters can cast their early ballots at the election commission. In other counties, you can vote early at the county clerk’s office.

Bride says they are still looking to fill 100 election judge spots by Election Day to help make sure voting procedures are followed. Judges from both parties help voters and ensure that ballots are safely and securely delivered from polling places back to the Election Commission. Judges make about $160 for working the day.

“We’re short staffed on the Republican side specifically,” Bride said. “If you have concerns about how elections are processed and how they are counted, be a part of the process.”

Voters tell us they are happy to take advantage of the options offered.

“I hope to vote early,” Washington resident Heidi Rottier said. “It’s just more convenient since it fits into my schedule better.”

“I’m not going to vote early,” Peoria resident Keith Campen said. “I’m going to wait a little bit... Just to get more background and find out what’s going on.”

There are a number of important races on the ballot, including the Republican governor primary, Illinois House and Senate seats and local elections like the Peoria Public Schools Board.

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