Don’t miss your chance to vote – early, absentee options available

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110106_voters_reut_605Election Day is fast approaching, and with it those crazy long lines, but there is still time to get your ballot out of the way early.

Missouri and Illinois both have options, though they are far more limited in Missouri than in Illinois.

ABSENTEE VOTING IN MISSOURI

Missouri offers absentee voting for registered voters who meet one of a list of requirements, but it does not have a program for early voting like many Illinois counties do.

Missourians must be planning to be absent from their city or county on Election Day or meet one of the following qualifying measures:

  • Incapacity or confinement because of sickness or disability.
  • Religious belief.
  • Election authority employment.
  • Incarceration.
  • Active military service.
  • U.S. government employee working outside the U.S.
  • Missouri voter but just moved into the election jurisdiction.
  • Former Missouri resident voting in federal elections.
  • Participant in confidentiality program for safety concerns.

To apply for absentee voting, the voter or an eligible relative may go to their Board of Election Commissioners office. They can then vote at the office during regular business hours until 5 p.m. on the Monday before the election.

To apply by mail or fax, use the application available online or write a letter including name and address, birth date, signature, last four digits of Social Security number, reason for voting absentee, which election and party preference (for primaries only).

Each county posts its own information online under “election authority.” Certain rules apply for absentee voting by mail or for relatives who assist people in absentee voting. One is that the envelope for absentee voting by mail must be notarized.

In the city of St. Louis, the Board of Election Commissioners is opening special hours for absentee voting on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and on Saturday, Nov. 5 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in addition to regular weekday hours.

Mid America AudiologyEARLY VOTING IN ILLINOIS

In Illinois, early voting will commence Oct. 24 and vote-by-mail is in full swing. Nobody has to wait until Nov. 8 to cast a ballot. For those who haven’t registered, the county clerk’s offices have a “Grace Period” system that will allow residents to register and vote.

VOTE BY MAIL

Any registered voter in Illinois may apply for a vote-by-mail ballot. You don’t have to be out of town on Election Day or unable to get to the polls.

It is also available to members of the Armed Forces on active duty, U.S. government and merchant marine employees plus their spouses and dependents. People currently out of the country but maintaining an Illinois residence may apply as well.

Voters can apply for a mail ballot through Nov. 3 (Oct. 31 for service families and voters temporarily overseas).

IN MADISON COUNTY, go online to the county clerk’s web page by typing in “madisonvotes.com” or using a search. Select “Elections – all information” and, on the next screen, “Vote by mail.”

Then, select “Vote by mail” again on the following screen, which will allow you to select “Verify” for your voter registration. You will need to give your birth date and address.

The program will ask you to choose e-mail or U.S. mail. For e-mail, fill out a form online and send it. For U.S. mail, print out a form, fill it out and mail it to the address supplied.

The clerk’s office will then send an official ballot to be filled out and returned. Instructions and the mailing address will be included.

SMP 2x5 AdIN ST. CLAIR COUNTY, go online to the county clerk’s website by running a search. Choose “elections” from the main page. Then choose “vote by mail” from the next page, which will bring the application form.

To reply by mail, download the form, fill it out and mail it to the address provided. To reply by e-mail, just fill out the form and send it. Either way, the county will send you a ballot with further instructions.

EARLY VOTING

The handiest way to get your vote in early in Illinois is called Early Voting. You don’t need to be out of town on Election Day. All you need is to be a registered voter and show up at one of the following times and locations.

IN MADISON COUNTY, the three main locations are the County Administration Building in Edwardsville at 157 Main St., the Alton Law Enforcement Center at 1700 Broadway and the Granite City Township Building at 2060A Delmar.

Early voting days and hours for these locations will be as follows:

  • Oct. 24-28 (Monday through Friday), 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 29 (Saturday), 9 a.m.-noon.
  • Oct. 30 (Sunday), 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Oct. 31-Nov. 4 (Monday through Friday), 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Nov. 5 (Saturday), 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Nov. 6 (Sunday), 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Nov. 7 (Monday), 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m.

Early voting will also be offered at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in the Willow Room at the Morris Center, from noon to 5 p.m. on weekdays Oct. 24-28, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1; plus 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 2-4.

Other locations include Bethalto Village Hall, 213 N. Prairie; Collinsville Senior Citizens Center, 420 E. Main; Lewis & Clark College, Ahlemeyer Atrium in the Trimpe Advanced Technology Center; Highland Latzer Library, 1001 9th St.; Madison Fire Station, 1800 3rd St.; Troy City Hall, 116 E. Market St.; and Wood River Township Office, 41 S. 9th.

Clark floorFor these locations, the early voting dates and hours are noon to 6 p.m. weekdays, Oct. 24-Nov. 4; and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, Oct. 29 and Nov. 5.

IN ST. CLAIR COUNTY, the county clerk’s office is offering early voting at three locations, including the county building at 10 Public Square in Belleville; the Caseyville Township office, 10001 Bunkum Road, Fairview Heights; and the O’Fallon Township office, 801 E. State St., O’Fallon.

Hours and dates for these are:

  • Oct. 24-28 (Monday through Friday), 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Oct. 29 (Saturday) 9 a.m. to noon.
  • Oct. 30 (Sunday), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Oct. 31-Nov. 4 (Monday through Friday), 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Nov. 5 (Saturday), 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Nov. 6 (Sunday), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Nov. 7 (Monday), 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Special locations include High Mount School, 1721 Boul Ave., Swansea, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Oct. 29; Centreville Township, 4831 Bond Ave., Alorton, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 29; Whiteside Middle School, 111 Warrior Way, Belleville, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both Oct. 29 and Oct. 30; and BASSC, 2411 Pathways Crossing, Belleville, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 30.

Also, the East St. Louis Election Commission is open for early voting at 301 River Parks Drive Suite 300 from 8:30 to 4:30 p.m. weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays Oct. 29 and Nov. 5.

IN MONROE COUNTY, early voting is available at the county clerk’s office in Waterloo from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, plus 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays Oct. 29 and Nov. 5. Voting by mail is also available from that office.

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