Cook County clerk: Early voting starts today; voter info may have changed
FROM SUBMITTED REPORTS February 26, 2012 5:34PM
Updated: March 28, 2012 8:05AM
Cook County Clerk David Orr has announced that early voting for the March 20 primary election begins Monday, and that new voter registration cards have been mailed to about 1.38 million active registered voters in the suburban areas of the county.
Early voting can be done at 42 locations in suburban Cook County and one in downtown Chicago, according Orr.
“You don’t have to wait until March 20 to cast a vote in this election,” Orr said. “Take advantage of the convenience of early voting.”
Early voting runs through March 15.
Hours and addresses are listed at cookcountyclerk.com.
Each suburban Cook County voter will receive an election notice in the mail that provides their closest early-voting location, as well as their Election Day precinct.
Suburban locations are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Select suburban locations have Sunday hours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Orr said early voters do not need a conflict or excuse to vote before election day, but they must have a government-issued photo ID such as a current driver’s license, state ID, passport or military ID.
Contests for the primary include president of the United States, representatives in Congress, state senators, state representatives, state Supreme Court judges, county offices and local referendums.
Voters do not register by party in Illinois, but voters must choose a party when casting a ballot in a primary election.
Orr said early voting in primary elections has steadily grown since it was introduced in March 2006, from less than 5 percent of ballots cast to more than twice that in February 2010.
For the first time in a presidential primary, voters also now can apply for mail ballots and vote from home. Mail voting also lets voters cast their ballots before Election Day, if they request a ballot by March 15.
Details on mail voting, plus sample ballots, directions to early-voting locations and candidate information are also at cookcountyclerk.com.
Locations in The Courier-News circulation area include the Hoffman Estates Village Hall, 1900 Hassell Road; the Schaumburg Public Library, 130 S. Roselle Road; and the Streamwood Village Hall, 301 E. Irving Park Road,.
The county clerk’s office in the pedway at 69 W. Washington St., Chicago.
New polls, districts
“I encourage every voter to review their voter registration card because your voting districts and polling location may have changed,” Orr said.
Each notice includes:
A voter registration card, which displays new congressional, state Senate, state House and county board of review districts reflecting any changes due to this year’s redistricting.
Election Day polling location, which may have changed due to precinct consolidation.
Your closest early voting site.
Early voting dates and tips.
Tips on how to find more information at cookcountyclerk.com or by calling one of the clerk’s hotline phone numbers.
Orr urged voters to use cookcountyclerk.com to see maps of the new districts. Voters can use the online Voter Information Tool to find directions to their polling places, sample ballots, candidate statements and more.
He said the mailed notices also will serve as a canvass to determine whether voters still live at their listed addresses. Any notices returned as undeliverable to the clerk’s office will be used to update voter statuses prior to the Nov. 6 presidential election.