New early voting sites open on campus

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Cassidy Brandt

A map of new early voting locations on campus.

By Chieh Hsu, Staff Writer

As the election day approaches, early voting sites have opened at the Activities and Recreation Center, Illini Union and University YMCA from Monday, Oct. 19 to Monday, Nov. 2.

Their hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. 

“The students are very welcomed and encouraged to vote by my administration,” said Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons. “We hope to see a lot of students to partake in the election in Champaign County.”

Compared to the previous presidential election, the voting site at the Union moved from the fourth floor to the first floor, and two sites have been added on the second floor of the University YMCA and at the ARC. 

Once a voter arrives on a site, an election judge will verify the voter’s identity and give them a ballot. The voter should then proceed to a voting booth and fill the oval for the chosen candidate. Next, the voter should insert their ballot into a tabulator machine located next to the exit that helps determine whether the ticket is valid. 

Alternatively, vote by mail began on Sept. 24. Due to COVID-19, Clerk Ammons strongly encourages all voters to utilize vote by mail for this election.

To request a vote by mail ballot, voters should go on the County Clerk Office’s website and fill out an electronic form before Oct. 29, but the Office encourages voters to do so as early as possible. 

After receiving the mail ballot, voters should complete it based on the instructions in the envelope.

“Make sure you sign the envelope! If you forget the Clerk’s Office will not be able to cast your ballot until you provide a valid signature,” according to the County Clerk’s website.

To return the vote by mail ballot, a voter can drop it at any post office mailbox or in a secure dropbox. There is a dropbox on the northwest corner of the South Quad, 1401 W. Green St., which is accessible by foot or bike only, and on the south side of the Illini Union. Voters do not have to worry about the cost since the postage is already paid for.

Each vote by mail ballot also comes with a tracking feature, so voters will be able to check if the Clerk’s Office has received the returned vote. However, due to a large number of tickets received each day, voters should anticipate at least 48 hours before the status of their ballots is updated in the voter portal.

 

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