County ready for votes

Local officials have worked nonstop to make sure everyone can vote safely

Posted 9/14/20

“The future of this republic is in the hands of the American voter.”

—President Dwight D. Eisenhower

 

By now, all registered Edgar County voters should have received …

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County ready for votes

Local officials have worked nonstop to make sure everyone can vote safely

Posted

“The future of this republic is in the hands of the American voter.”

—President Dwight D. Eisenhower

 

By now, all registered Edgar County voters should have received forms in the mail asking if they want to vote by mail for the November 3 election.

This is a good thing. For all the false claims made about voting by mail, it is safe and secure, and Edgar County voters have embraced it. Edgar County Clerk and Recorder August Griffin reports that already 1,077 requests for vote by mail have been received, and we’re not even halfway through September. Consider this.  Only 100 absentee ballots were requested in the March primary. Griffin’s office is daily fielding calls from voters who are inquiring about voting this way.

Gov J.B. Pritzker signed a law earlier this year requiring that local election officials across the state mail absentee ballot request forms to everybody who voted in the 2018, 2019 and 2020 elections, as well as voters who request them.

One does not have to use the vote by mail request form that arrived in the mailbox. People who want to cast their ballots the traditional way still have that option. But for those who want to vote in the security of their own homes, it will be easier to access an alternative — thanks in large part to local election officials like Griffin who have led the way.

It is disheartening — and should be for anyone dedicated to our democracy — that more than 100 years after our Constitution was amended to allow women to vote and 56 years since the signing of the Voting Rights Act, that we still have to worry about free and open voting and our votes being counted accurately.

Griffin explained there are safeguards to prevent a registered voter from double voting. Poll books going to the polling places on election day will show those who voted early and those who have not. 

Each and every vote postmarked before, or on Election Day, will be counted. It is the postal service’s obligation to make sure that ballots received before 7 p.m. on Election Day — the official close of voting — are properly postmarked and delivered.

In this age of COVID-19, voting by mail will likely be the safest way to vote for all registered voters — particularly the elderly and those who have pre-existing conditions making exposure to the virus particularly deadly.

For those who request a ballot by mail — and are still concerned about making sure their vote is counted — they have the option to drop the ballot at Griffin’s office any time after Sept. 24. And those concerned about waiting in line at the polling place because of the pandemic but don’t want to vote by mail, early voting at Griffin’s office in the Edgar County Courthouse begins at 8 a.m. Monday, Sept. 24.

Griffin and his staff are ready to do their jobs to ensure a safe and secure election.

When voting begins Sept. 24, we need to be repared to do ours.