New rules in Illinois allow voters to cast
their ballots in person before Election Day and even on Saturdays and Sunday,
which should make it easier for truckers to participate in elections.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed a bill into law
last week that makes it easier to vote prior to Election Day. It is also
intended to get more citizens registered.
Currently, Illinois law allows people to vote
absentee by mail only if they have a good reason for not being available on
Election Day. That provision is still in place, but voters can cast their
ballots in person – without an excuse – under the new early voting law.
The early voting period will start 22 days
prior to an election and continue until the Thursday before Election Day, which
is Nov. 3 this year.
Because of existing Illinois law that permits
voter registrations up to 14 days before an election, the new rule creates a
nine-day window of time during which a person could register and vote on the
same day, The News-Gazette in
The new law, previously HB1968, also allows
voters to register by mail and permits state lawmakers to register voters at
their district offices.
In addition, employers with at least 25
workers would have to grant an employee up to two hours of paid time off if
their work schedule would prevent them from voting on Election Day.
It also requires publication of a voter’s
guide on statewide candidates, which must be made available on the Internet.
For information on how to vote early in Illinois, contact the Board of
Elections at (217) 782-4141 or visit www.elections.state.il.us and click on “Voting Information” on
the left-hand side of the Web page.
Illinois is one of more than 30 states that
offer some type of early voting.