HILLSBORO — Montgomery County Clerk Sandy Leitheiser is reporting the office is receiving a huge response regarding voting by mail, with 1,200 postcards received in response for ballots via mail.
“We had 628 voters vote by mail for the entire November 2018 election,” Leitheiser states. “We already have double that back just one week after the postcards were mailed.”
Postcard mailings were sent to voters with active registrations on July 31.
Office diligently working on vote-by-mail ballot applications
Leitheiser notes that her staff is working diligently to process these applications, ensuring they receive their ballots beginning September 24. Voters will still be able to request applications to vote by mail through October 29. However, they are encouraged to apply as early as possible to allow for timely delivery. They can also download and print the application through the county clerk’s website.
Illinois state law mandated ballots should be back in the possession of the county clerk with a postmark on or prior to Election Day, Nov. 3. The clerk’s office should receive the ballots by no later than November 17.
In-person early voting will also begin on September 24 and Leitheiser, barring any further issues, should have all polling precincts open on Election Day.
Election judge training to start soon
Training for election judges will take place soon. Additional training, which includes compliance with CDC guidelines relating to COVID-19, will be taking place as a result.
“We certainly appreciate our dedicated election judges who make Election Day polling place voting possible,” Leitheiser states.
Those interested in becoming an election judge can contact the clerk’s office at (217) 532-9530 at their soonest convenience in order to undergo proper training and receive their precinct assignment.
Expect long lines and wait times if you apply to vote by mail and want to cast your ballot in-person instead
Leitheiser reminds new vote-by-mail voters that there will only be one ballot mailing per voter. For instance, say a voter applies to vote by mail and then changes their mind. The clerk’s office requires that the voter forfeit that first ballot to her office. Additionally, they will need to sign an affidavit verifying their request to vote in-person instead of via mail.
She additionally notes that anyone who loses their mail-in ballot and chooses to vote in person on Election Day could face long lines and wait times. Current protocol requires that election judges call the clerk’s office to confirm whether the office has received a vote-by-mail ballot. As a result, they will also have to sign an affidavit and may need to provide additional identification.
Leitheiser’s advice: ‘If you made a request to vote by mail, fulfill that obligation’
Leitheiser notes that if you request to vote by mail, please vote on that ballot and return it as it was your original intention.
“Don’t lose your ballot to avoid the additional requirements,” Leitheiser adds.
Anyone seeking further information about the upcoming election should contact the County Clerk’s office inside the Historic Courthouse in Hillsboro.
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Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.