Grace Period Allows Illinois Voters To Register Late

This story was written by Sam Brunell, Northern Star
Students heading home for the three-day weekend still have time to vote.

For the first time in presidential election history, unregistered Illinois voters will be allowed a "grace period" for the 2008 Presidential Primary Election being held Feb. 5.

"Under this newer provision of the state election code, eligible voters may still register or update their records during the 'grace period,'" said Chicago Election Board Chairman Langdon D. Neal in a Jan. 9 press release from www.chicagoelections.com.

In the press release, Neal also said people can only register at the Election Board headquarters, and they must vote in that same visit.

"The grace period is basically for people who forgot to vote by deadline," said Dekalb County Clerk Sharon Holmes.

Students who were unable to go home and register by the Jan. 8 deadline have a second chance with the "grace period."

"It's very important to make voting accessible for everyone," said Kane County Clerk John A. Cunningham.

The last day to vote during the "grace period" is Tuesday, Jan. 22.

Registered voters have the opportunity to cast an early vote.

"People who are already registered are coming in and voting early," Holmes said. Early voting has already taken place in Kane County.

"We've had close to 2,000 early votes cast already," Cunningham said. "In some states, almost 55 percent of people vote early."

When registering to vote during the "grace period," one must show two valid pieces of identification, one of which shows the current address of residence.
© 2008 Northern Star via U-WIRE