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.
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.
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.
Other locations include:
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.