Early voting breaks record in Kankakee County


KANKAKEE — Whether it is the COVID-19 pandemic, a hotly contested presidential race, or a hot button issue at the state or local level, voters are taking advantage of the option to make their choice before Election Day.

“People made up their minds a while ago,” Kankakee County Clerk Dan Hendrickson said. “That is the great thing. You have a 40-day window to take advantage and vote early.”

As of Friday, 19 percent of registered voters in Kankakee County had cast their ballot in the Nov. 3 general election.

Hendrickson said 13,000 of the county’s 67,406 registered voters have voted early or by mail-in ballot.

“This is head-and-shoulders the highest number we’ve ever seen,” Hendrickson said.

When all is said and done with early voting, Hendrickson said it’s possible totals could reach upward of 18,000.

On Sept. 24, the first day of early voting at the county administration building, a record 469 people cast ballots, Hendrickson said. In 2016, 168 ballots were cast on opening day of early voting.

On Thursday, during the first day of early voting at the satellite site in Manteno, 367 people voted during the six-hour period the site was open.

Early voting runs through Nov. 2.

As of Friday, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections, more than 1.8 million voters had already cast their ballots in the state.

Locally, early voting continues at the county clerk’s office, 189 E. Court St. in Kankakee, from 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. There will be extended hours on several dates as well.

Starting today, voters can cast their ballot at Bourbonnais Municipal building, 700 Main St. NW., Bourbonnais. Early voting ends there on Saturday.

The increased local turnout mirrors a nationwide trend in which more than 47 million registered voters have cast their ballots.

Not only has there been a rush of early voters, Hendrickson said he also has received more applications for election judges than he can recall.

It will allow him to staff each polling place with five judges.

“People take shots at Kankakee County and Kankakee but people in this county pull together when you need help,” Hendrickson said.

Early voting for Iroquois County registered voters will be available at the County Clerk’s Office, 1001 E. Grant, Watseka, until Nov. 2. Voting is available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 31. This early voting site serves all 37 precincts.

If you are not registered to vote or if you have moved and need to change your address, you may do so during this time and vote in the office at the same time (grace period registration). Anyone who would like to register needs to bring two forms of identification, one article would need to show their current address as well as a mailing address, if that is different.

Telephone inquiries regarding early voting, grace period voting, or voting by mail should be directed to the clerk’s office at 815-432-6960 weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Region: Northern,Region: Kankakee,Local,City: Kankakee

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October 26, 2020 at 08:09AM

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