Sunday, January 13, 2008

Registration Continues to Vote Early, Vote Often

Early voting (i.e., 2005 Illinois House Bill 1968, 10 ILCS 5/19A) for the February 5 (aka Tsunami Tuesday) Illinois Primary begins Monday, January 14, 2008, and ends Thursday, January 31, 2008. Voting registration continues during a grace period through January 22.

The General Primary Election is February 5. The ballots will include candidates for U.S. Senate, Representatives in Congress, and State Senators and Representatives in the General Assembly. With the exception of Cook County, primary voters will elect precinct committeemen. Chicago voters will elect ward committeemen. Referenda could appear on the ballots as well. All voters will elect delegates to the National Nominating Conventions. They can either declare a party affiliation or request a nonpartisan ballot only.

Early voting in
St. Clair County is easy. In almost all cases, the early voting centers will be different from the voters' regular polling place. Absentee voting laws in Illinois remain in place, and it has already begun. Information on the locations of early voting centers and absentee ballots should contact their county clerks and other election authorities across the state.

There are safeguards in place to eliminate fraud. Voters casting an early ballot must do so in person and display a valid identification (i.e., a current driver's license, a state-issued ID card or another government-issued ID with a photograph). This requirement is stricter than other identification requirements for casting a ballot on Election Day. Anyone voting during the early voting period cannot vote again on Election Day, and all ballot counting occurs after the polls close on Election Day.

Voting is a responsibility and a privilege for American citizens. Every eligible voter should submit a ballot. In the Democratic Party, the field of candidates will look like it is limited to just two or three candidates. Primary voters need to remember that their candidate is still on the ballot, and they can still vote for the person. For example, Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) has
ended his campaign. That will not stop the more informed voters from wisely casting their ballots for him.

The
Board of Elections has all the information.

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