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Early voting begins Thursday

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST • Updated: Thursday, March 7, 2013 2:32 p.m. CST

SYCAMORE – Voters can get a head start to the polls Thursday as DeKalb County kicks off voting for its consolidated elections.

Pre-election day voting runs from Thursday to April 8 and allows registered voters to submit their ballots before election day April 9. DeKalb County Clerk John Acardo said pre-election day voting is a great way to ensure everyone gets the opportunity to vote.

“This gives you a 45-day window in which you can cast your ballot and have your voice heard,” he said.

Starting Thursday, registered voters can participate in no-excuse absentee voting either by mail or in person at the DeKalb County Legislative Center at 200 N. Main St. in Sycamore beginning at 9 a.m.

Acardo said all registered voters are eligible to vote at this time, and no excuse is needed.

“People automatically assume you have to have a reason,” he said. “You used to. But now you don’t.”

Not only is pre-election day voting convenient for citizens, but it helps the county keep the voting process running smoothly April 9, he said.

As a former candidate running for office in November, DeKalb County Board member and county Democratic Chairman Mark Pietrowski Jr. said early voting can affect the campaigning process.

“I think it means that candidates have to reach out to voters early on and let them know who they are,” he said.

Acardo said there are more than 430 candidates running for offices across the county this election period, which is why it’s important for individuals to do research on their specific ballot ahead of time, he said.

“These officials are the ones who set the policies for our everyday lives,” Acardo said.

All of the sample ballots will be available on www.votedekalb.com by Thursday. In the mean time, all the candidates and their prospective offices are available on the site.

If voters decide to cast their ballots before Election Day, Acardo suggests they bring some form of identification, although it’s not required until the March 25 early-voting period begins.

The voter registration deadline is March 12, but there is a grace period from March 13 to April 6. During the grace period, voters must register and cast their vote at the same time at a polling place.

Pietrowski, who said he will be voting early this election, said having the option to vote ahead of time is a great way to ensure everyone gets the opportunity to vote.

“As many ways as we can encourage voting and get as many people to vote as possible is very important,” he said.

Acardo encourages voters to cast ballots early.

“If you have your mind made up, certainly take advantage of early voting,” he said.

Pre-election day voting

Thursday to April 8

DeKalb County Legislative Center, 200 N. Main St. in Sycamore

Dates and deadlines

March 12 – Registration deadline

March 13 to April 6 – Registration grace period

April 4 – Last day to apply for absentee ballot by mail

April 9 – Election day

For info visit www.votedekalb.com

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