DeKALB – Changes to the early-voting process intended to increase turnout could be on the way.
DeKalb County Clerk John Acardo said legislation awaiting Gov. Pat Quinn’s signature would change the time periods for early-voting and grace-period registration and would require a second, permanent early-voting site in the county.
The early-voting period, which runs from 22 days before election day to five days before, would be changed to begin 15 days out and end three days before the election. Grace-period registration would run until the Saturday before the election instead of the Thursday before the election.
Grace-period registration starts Oct. 10. The early-voting dates will run from Oct. 22 through Nov. 3. Those who take advantage of the grace-period registration must also vote at that time.
Acardo said although the early-voting period is slightly shortened, voters still would have more opportunities as absentee voting begins 60 days before the election.
“Our office strives to make the voting process as easy as possible,” he said. “As there are several different types of voting, it can be confusing to know under which platform you are voting.”
The potential law also would require the county to have a permanent early-voting site at the Northern Illinois University campus along with the existing site at the DeKalb County Legislative Center.
The county experimented with a rotating early-voting site during the primary, which Acardo said was successful, so he is happy to have another permanent site along with the four rotating sites planned for November’s elections.
“Anytime we can expand on our already existing programs it gives more opportunity for people to vote,” he said.
To make it easier for voters to keep up with changes to the election sites or procedures, Acardo said his office has launched a separate website – www.votedekalb.com – that will take voters directly to the information they need.