As you may have seen in the news, voters in several states have been reduced to waiting in long lines. In fact, you may remember this story from early March where a Texas man had to wait 7 hours in line to cast his ballot. It may sound like an exaggeration or cherry picked example, but it is not. Although Illinois had its primary day in March of this year, we are inching closer to November 3rd, election day. So if you plan on voting on November 3rd, but want to avoid long lines, continue reading. This post will go over how you can register to vote, how to vote by mail, and how to vote early.
Election Day Struggles
As stated in the opening, the Texas man who waited hours in line to vote was not an isolated incident. Voters in Georgia felt a similar pain when they waited up to 3 hours to get into their assigned polling station. Of course, the pandemic still taking place all over the world has influenced how people can vote. Many states have shrunk the numbers of polling stations and workers due to concerns of spreading. In fact, Kentucky, who’s primary was yesterday, usually has around 3,700 stations but was reduced to just 170 stations. As you would expect, people scrambled to find their assigned station which led to heavy traffic. Luckily for some, CNN reported that a judge ordered one station to reopen for an extra 30 minutes. All of this may lead people to search or alternate ways of voting so they can avoid long lines.
Registering To Vote
Unless you voted in one of Illinois recent elections, you are unlikely registered to vote in Illinois. If you want to check on your registration status, you can do so here. Additionally, you can register to vote online as well. In order to register you need a to be or have the following things:
Vote By Mail
Easily the safest way for a person to vote in the 2020 general elections is by mail. Yes, in the age of great technology, snail mail reigns supreme. All joking aside, voting by mail means voters do not have to wait in line on election day nor do they have to visit a polling station. Voting by mail takes away any chance that voters can contract the novel virus. That is precisely why Governor Pritzker expanded voting by mail and early voting guidelines for Illinois. For the printable version of the vote by mail application, click here.
If you still wish to vote in person , you can always do so earlier than November 3rd. Early voting starts about 40 days prior to election day and ends the night before. However, unlike the actual election day, early voting does not mean every station is open. Only certain polling stations are designated for early voting, so be sure you know where to go. Additionally, you should make sure you are already registered to vote to ensure you are not turned away.