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Illinois Grace Period Extends Voter Registration

This story was written by Chris Davies, The Daily Vidette

Much attention has been given to the upcoming November election, and many are calling this the most important election in recent memory. Although the registration deadline was Tuesday, unregistered Illinois State University students can still make their voices heard at the County Clerk's Office.

"Between [October] 8 and 21, those who have not registered or changed their address may come in to place their vote or change the address," Laura Edwards, election administrator for the McLean County Clerk's Office, said.

The only difference to this system, she explained, is that those who registered to vote should be ready to cast their vote in person at the time they come in to register.

Edwards believes this year will see many more people taking advantage of the grace period.

"We've had an extreme amount of calls and e-mails expressing concern about the registration and voting process so I would expect that a lot of people would be taking advantage of this for this election," Edwards said.

Bryan Asbury, coordinator of the "Trust Me I'm A Voter!" campaign is pleased that the availability of voting has expanded in this way.

"I think that it is a great way for people who have been otherwise unable to get registered to be able to cast a vote that can be counted," Asbury said. "I really hope that our students take every possible opportunity to participate in our democracy."

He further explained the importance of this election, and that everyone should be able to let their voices be heard.

"There will eventually come a day when younger generations ask us about this election. I know that I am excited to have the chance to say 'yes I participated ... I remember.' If grace period voting allows others to join in this conversation and to make this claim, then I am a supporter of grace period voting," Asbury said.

Other options still exist for voters including the absentee ballot and "early voting."

Anyone who wishes to place an absentee ballot must apply for one before Oct. 30. These ballots must be returned to the election authorities no later than Nov. 3.

The early voting period is open from Oct. 14-30. Voters who wish to use this service must visit the election office during normal business hours to place their ballot.

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