Early voting begins Oct. 16

Ann Knef Sep. 27, 2006, 8:01am

For the first time in an Illinois general election voters can cast away their excuses and vote early between Oct. 16 and Nov. 2.

The new state law passed last year was intended to encourage greater participation in elections, heeding concerns of business travelers, people who work long hours or those otherwise inconvenienced by polling place hours.

But in St. Clair County, the top election official doesn't believe early voting will significantly increase turnout.

St. Clair County Clerk Bob Delaney said that during the March primary, the first election cycle early voting was allowed, some groups organized "get out the vote early" drives.

"But, I don't think it's going to be so this time," Delaney said.

Delaney predicted turnout would be low during this non-presidential election. He estimated it would be in the 50 percent range.

Registration deadlines

The last date to register to vote by mail is Tuesday, Oct. 10. A grace period and voters' registration period is set from Oct. 11-24, allowing voters to register in person, change their name, change their address and to vote early.

St. Clair County

Early voters may cast their votes only at the County Clerk's office, located on the second floor of the Courthouse, 13 Public Square in Belleville. Hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8:30 to noon.

Madison County

Early voting is available at the following sites Monday through Friday, noon to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., unless noted otherwise.

  • Alton: Alton Law Enforcement Center, 1700 E. Broadway
  • Collinsville: Collinsville Senior Citizen Center, 420 E. Main St.
  • Edwardsville: County Administration Building, 157 N. Main St., 1st Floor (8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
  • Godfrey: Godfrey Village Hall, 6810 Godfrey Rd.
  • Granite City: Granite City Township Office, 2060 Delmar Ave.
  • Troy: Tri-Township Library, 209 S. Main St.
  • Wood River: Madison County Wood River Facility (Health Department entrance), 101 Edwardsville Rd.

    Other locations include:
  • Alton Fire Station #2, 3212 College Ave., Oct. 21 and 28, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Bethalto Senior Citizen Center, 100 E. Central, Oct. 27, noon to 7 p.m.; Oct. 28, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Weinheimer Center in Highland, 110 Main, Oct. 21, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • New Douglas Fire Department, Oct. 17, noon to 7 p.m.
  • Pontoon Beach Village Hall, 1 Regency Dr., Oct. 21 and 28, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • SWIC Granite City Campus, 4950 Maryville Rd., Oct. 21, 23, 28 and 30, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • SIUE Morris Center, Hickory/Hackberry Room, Oct. 24-25, noon to 7 p.m.
  • Venice Recreational Hall, 305 Broadway, Oct. 21 and 28, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    For all early voters

    Even though state law does not require voters to present picture identification at the polls on election day, early voting has stricter requirements.

    In an effort to prevent vote fraud and double voting, state law requires early votes to display valid identification to an election official before receiving a ballot to vote early.

    Voters casting an early ballot must display a driver's license, a state-issued ID card or another government-issued ID with a photograph.

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