Sangamon County’s 80 polling places opened without incident at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning and the pace of voting was slow, as expected during an off-year election that will decide issues and seats on boards overseeing local school boards, municipalities and other forms of local government. “It certainly has been a turtle’s pace this morning,” said Sangamon County Clerk
Sangamon County’s 80 polling places opened without incident at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning and the pace of voting was slow, as expected during an off-year election that will decide issues and seats on boards overseeing local school boards, municipalities and other forms of local government.
“It certainly has been a turtle’s pace this morning,” said Sangamon County Clerk Don Gray.
Turnout of 10% to 15% of the county’s 148,000 registered voters is expected in races that include contested spots on the school boards of Springfield District 186, Ball-Chatham and Rochester, as well as on the Springfield Park Board.
No positions for Springfield city government or Sangamon County government are on the ballot, which is one reason turnout isn’t expected to be higher despite pleasant weather conditions, with mostly cloudy skies and temperatures forecast in the 60s to the high 70s.
Gray encouraged people to enjoy the weather and vote.
“Local government elections affect you more than any other level of government, both in policy and your pocketbook,” he said.
“Come out, have your voice heard about school boards, township government, park districts, water districts, fire districts,” he said. “You utilize these services more than any other level of government, and it requires and should have the respect of the voting populace to cast ballots at a substantial level.”
Election workers will encourage social distancing and mask-wearing, and they will regularly sanitize surfaces touched by voters, he said.
In the November general election, when Democrat Joe Biden and incumbent Republican Donald Trump squared off on the ballot for president, almost 80% of registered voters cast ballots in Sangamon County. One-third of ballots were cast in early voting, one-third were cast by mail, and one-third were cast on election day, Gray said.
He expects most ballots to be cast in Tuesday’s consolidated election through in-person voting.
A total of 2,939 mail-in ballots were requested for this election, and 2,188 had been received at Gray’s office by the close of business Monday.
Mail-in ballots will be counted if they are postmarked by Tuesday and received within two weeks. Voters also can cast mail-in ballots by placing them in a secure drop box outside the Sangamon County Complex along Monroe Street in Springfield until 7 p.m. Tuesday.
A total of 1,179 voters participated in early voting, he said.
The polls will close at 7 p.m. Monday, and all results should be posted on the county’s election website — sangamoncountyclerk.com — by 9 p.m. Monday at the latest, Gray said.
Reports of election irregularities or other concerns or questions about voting can be directed to the Illinois State Board of Elections at 217-782-4141 or 800-527-8683, board spokesman Matt Dietrich said.
Concerns also can be reported to the Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s Office at 217-753-6690 and the U.S. Attorney’s Office at 217-492-4450.
Additional information, including locations of polling places, is available on the state board’s website, elections.il.gov. The elections section of Gray’s office, which can be reached at 217-753-8683, also offers election information at sangamoncountyclerk.com/Elections.
Contact Dean Olsen: email@example.com; (217) 836-1068; twitter.com/DeanOlsenSJR.