By CARL GREEN
While partisans encourage voting by mail or stir up concerns about it, Metro-East area voters have another option that’s quick, easy and mostly foolproof – early voting.
Voters often find short or non-existent lines and a choice of locations where they can cast their ballots directly into the county election systems, with election workers on hand in case they have any questions.
“Early voting makes voting easier for almost everyone,” Madison County Clerk Debra Ming-Mendoza said. “You don’t have to wait in line at the polling place, and you can vote when it fits your schedule.”
Here is how three Metro-East counties handle early voting:
Early voting is now offered from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays through Nov. 2, plus 9 a.m. to noon on two Saturdays, Oct. 24 and Oct. 31, at the County Clerk’s office, 100 S. Main, Waterloo.
ST. CLAIR COUNTY
Early voting has already begun in St. Clair County, where residents may vote at the county clerk’s office from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, from now through Nov. 2.
The county soon will open three “permanent” early sites:
- County Clerk Election Department, second floor of 10 Public Square, Belleville.
- The Rec Complex, 9950 Bunkum Road, Fairview Heights.
- O’Fallon Township office, 801 E. State St., O’Fallon.
Times for those locations are 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays from Oct. 19 to Nov. 2. Voters can go to any of them.
The county also announced two temporary early voting sites:
- Whiteside Middle School at 111 Warrior Way, Belleville.
- Cahokia High School gym, 800 Range Lane, Cahokia.
They will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17.
Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3. Polling places can be seen at the website www.co.st-clair.il.us, on the Elections page under Voters Guide or Polling Place Listings.
Early voting is now available at the County Clerk’s office in the County Administration Building, 157 N. Main St., Edwardsville, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. weekdays through Oct. 16.
Other locations throughout the county begin operating on Monday, Oct. 19.
Hours for the following three locations are 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., weekdays, Oct. 19 through Nov. 1, plus 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, Oct. 24 and 31 and Sundays, Oct. 25 and Nov. 1. They include:
- County Administration Building, first floor, 157 N. Main St., Edwardsville.
- Scot Bibb Center (former St. Patrick’s School) multi-purpose room, 1004 E. 5th St., Alton.
- Granite City Township Building, 2060 Delmar Ave., Granite City.
The following locations have varying hours and dates:
- Bethalto Village Hall community room, 213 Prairie St., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays, Oct. 19-30.
- Collinsville Senior Center, 420 E. Main, 12-6 p.m. weekdays, Oct. 19-30, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, Oct. 24 and Oct. 31.
- Godfrey Village Hall, 6810 Godfrey Road, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, Oct. 19-30.
- Weinheimer Community Center, 1100 Main St., Highland, 12-6 p.m. weekdays, Oct. 19-30, plus 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays, Oct. 24 and 31.
- Madison Fire Station, 1800 3rd St., 12-6 p.m. weekdays, Oct. 19-30, plus 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays Oct. 24 and 31.
- Morris University Center Willow Room, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, Oct. 28-30.
- Troy City Hall, 116 E. Market St., 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, Oct. 19-30.
- Wood River Township, 41 S. 9th St., 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, Oct. 19-30.