Election Day Voter Information
ON ELECTION DAY – Polling locations are open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m.
HOW DOES A VOTER OBTAIN AND CAST A BALLOT ON ELECTION DAY?
- Find the location of your polling place. If you are a registered voter and have not moved or made any changes since the last election, you may find the information on your voter’s identification card. If you have misplaced or lost the card, call the Grundy County Clerk’s Office (815) 941-3222, Option 1.
- If you are new to the County or have moved, you may fall under the guidelines for Grace Period/Same Day Registration voter. Call the Grundy County Clerk’s Office (815) 941-3222, Option 1 for instructions and/or click on link and follow those instructions.
- At the polling place, you will be asked to sign an application for ballot. If it is a Primary Election, you will be required to select which party’s ballot you wish to vote. You may select a ballot of any party conducting a primary and may change party from one primary to the next. Any time a public question is submitted to the voters in a primary, the question will appear on the party primary ballots. However, you may vote the public question without declaring a party affiliation by requesting a Non-partisan ballot containing only the public question.
Grundy County uses 2 types of election equipment, Optical Scan (OS) and Touchscreen (TSx).
A judge of election will determine the ballot on which you are qualified to vote. You will be asked if you would like to vote by Optical Scan (paper ballot) or Touchscreen (voter access card).
If you choose to vote using the Optical Scan OS (paper ballot) the following applies:
- An election judge will hand the voter a paper ballot, privacy cover and a marking pen. The voter will be direct you to a voting booth.
- Fill in (darken) the oval, staying within the lines, next to the candidate(s) you choose to vote, using ONLY the felt tip pen provided.
- Read the instructions at the top of each office to be elected/nominated. Take note of the number of candidates to vote for in each office. Be aware that if you vote for more candidates than the number to be elected/nominated, it is considered an over-vote. None of the candidates for that office will receive a vote. An over-voted ballot cannot be traced to any individual voter and does not affect the rest of your ballot.
- The voter is not required to cast a vote in all offices. If you skip an office, an under-vote will be registered for that office. An under-vote ballot cannot be traced to any individual voter and does not affect the rest of your ballot.
- You may cast a Write-In vote for a candidate whose name is not on the ballot. Write the name of your candidate on the blank line provided directly at the end of the list candidates for that office. Fill in the oval as directed above next to the name of your write-in candidate. A write-in vote will not be counted for any candidate who failed to file an Intent to be a Write-in Candidate as, prescribed by law.
- The voter should double check that they have made the choice(s) they intended and darken the oval as directed. Check BOTH sides of the ballot. There may be candidates on each side.
- Place the privacy cover over your voted ballot and bring it over to the Optical Scan. Place the ballot into the Optical Scanner. The voted ballot is recorded on a memory card.
- Return the privacy cover to the election judge.
If a voter chooses to vote Touchscreen TSx (voter access card) the following applies. Voting by Touchscreen is a process where the voter literally touches a computer screen and votes.
- An election judge will hand the voter a voter access card, it will be coded with the correct ballot style, and a pencil that the voter will use as the stylus. The voter will be directed to the touchscreen (TSx).
- At the TSx, place the voter access card into the slot (top right side of TSx). Push the voter access card until the voter hears a click. The ballot will begin to load.
- Read the instructions on the first screen. At this time, you may make the font size larger.
- Use the eraser portion of the pencil (stylus), touch the next page button in the lower right hand corner of the screen. Your ballot will finish loading.
- Read the instructions at the top of each office to be elected/nominated. Take note of the number of candidates to vote for in each office. After you have voted each screen, touch the next page button in the lower right hand corner.
- Using the pencil eraser, touch the box next to the candidate(s) name you choose to vote.
- The TSx WILL NOT allow you to over-vote an office.
- You may cast a Write-In vote for a cadidate whose name does not appear on the ballot. Click here for instructions on how to cast a Write-In vote.
- The voter is not required to cast a vote in all offices. If you skip an office, an under-vote is registered for that office. An under-vote ballot cannot be traced to any individual voter and does not affect the rest of your ballot.
- As the voter is voting, a paper “ballot” is printed that is viewable in the compartment to the right of the screen.
- Once the voter completes the ballot, a summary page will load. Double check that you have made the choice(s) you intended. If an office is pink, it means you have under-voted. At this time you may go back and vote the office or leave it as voted.
- The next step is to CAST YOUR BALLOT. The button is located on the bottom right side of screen. The ballot printed on a paper tape, which is locked and seal in the machine and saved on a memory card. The voter receives no receipt.
- The voter access card will pop out. Please return to the election judge.
Voter Assistance on Election Day
– 10 ILCS 5/7-47.1, 5/7-48, 5/11-7, 5/17-13, 5/17-14, 5/24-9
WHAT IS VOTER “ASSISTANCE”?
“Assistance” is the actual casting of a vote for a voter by a specified person in the privacy of the voting booth on Election Day. Those giving assistance must vote as directed by the voter.
WHO MAY BE GIVEN ASSISTANCE?
Only those voters who genuinely need assistance may be given assistance. Illinois law provides that the following persons may receive assistance:
- Person with disabilities or visually impaired voters
- Those voters who cannot read or write the English language
Of course, all voters needing assistance must be registered to vote. Intoxicated voters do not qualify as being disabled and may not be given assistance.
WHO CAN PROVIDE ASSISTANCE?
Any voter who needs assistance in voting by reason of blindness, disability, or inability to read or write the English language may be given assistance by a person of the voter’s choice. However, the person giving the assistance cannot be an officer or agent of the voter’s employer or union.
If the voter who needs assistance does not specify a particular person to assist him in voting, then the voter can be assisted by two election judges, one from each political party.
HOW IS THE ASSISTANCE GIVEN?
Assistance is always given in the privacy of the voting booth. Anyone giving assistance must cast the vote as directed by the voter and must not give anyone information as to how the vote was cast. The person giving assistance must not attempt to influence the voter in any way. Anyone who knowingly threatens, forces, or pays a voter to vote a certain way is guilty of a Class 4 felony.
IS AN AFFIDAVIT REQUIRED?
Yes. Assistance can only be given upon the voter’s request and only after the voter completes the appropriate affidavit. In every instance of assistance, both the voter receiving the assistance and the person(s) giving the assistance must sign the affidavit. Also, the voter’s “Application for Ballot” must be marked by an Election Judge to show that the voter requested assistance.
WHAT IF A VOTER NEEDS INSTRUCTION?
“Instruction” is explaining to the voter how to use the voting equipment. “Assistance,” however, is actually casting a vote for a voter as directed by the voter.
Any instruction that might be required should be given before the voter enters the booth. A specimen ballot, not the voter’s official ballot, must be used during instruction. An affidavit is required for “assistance” but it is not required for “instruction.”
WHAT ABOUT INACCESSIBLE POLLING PLACES?
Any handicapped or elderly voter who cannot enter a polling place due to the structural features of the building, may request to vote outside (near the entrance) of the their polling place. Such requests must be made with the Grundy County Clerk by the close of business on the day before the election. The Grundy County Clerk will then notify the appropriate election judges of the names of those person(s) making such a request.
If notification is received by the election judges the voter completes the entire voting process (weather permitting) outside the polling place as follows: Two judges of opposite party affiliation deliver an application to the voter. The completed application is brought back into the polling place to the verification judges. After the signature and address are checked and it is determined that the individual is qualified to vote, a ballot, a marking device and a privacy cover should be brought to the voter. The voter should be given complete privacy when voting their ballot. In NO case can a ballot be delivered to a voter beyond 50 feet of the entrance to the building in which the polling place is located. After the voter completes voting, the two election judges take the ballot (covered by the privacy cover) back into the polling place for deposit into the ballot box.
*Any voter that notices unusual activities or irregularities that should not be happening at the polls, should report it immediately to the election judges and/or the Grundy County Clerk.