SYCAMORE – Registered voters can begin applying to vote by mail starting today.
The vote-by-mail option, also called absentee voting, is for those voters who will be unable to vote at their polling location on Election Day, Nov. 4. Voters can apply for the mail option by finding the absentee application on the DeKalb County government's election information website, or by visiting the county clerk and recorder's office at 110 E. Sycamore St. in Sycamore.
"The majority of people who do it are snowbirds who go down south for winter," said Mary Lynn Meisch, DeKalb County chief deputy of elections. "Others work in another county or can't make it to the polling place when polls are open."
In the spring primary, which typically has a lower voter turnout than fall, 163 DeKalb County residents voted by mail, Meisch said. She's expecting more to do so in November.
The last day to register to vote is Oct. 7. The next day, the voter registration grace period begins, but voters must vote immediately following registration. Early voting begins Oct. 20.
The county will also have one location that will allow registration and voting on Election Day, as part of the state's same-day registration pilot program. Same-day registration will be available only at the county administration building in Sycamore.
Meisch said many people vote absentee by mail just to make sure they get it done, she said. If registered voters are not able to visit the office and do not have Internet access, they can call the election department at 815-895-7147.
Lynne Kunde, deputy clerk of elections, said at most, the county office may receive 1,000 absentee ballots by mail, out of the approximately 57,000 registered voters in DeKalb County.
"This election will be busier than most with the governor elections," Kunde said.
Important dates for voters
Today: Can begin applying to vote by mail
Oct. 7: Last day to register to vote
Oct. 8: Grace period registration begins; can register but must vote immediately after
Oct. 20: Early voting begins
Nov. 2: Last day of early voting
Nov. 4: Election day; polls open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Learn more at dekalbcounty.org/Elections/index.html.