Voter Registration Drive - On Aisle One

By: Brad Broders
By: Brad Broders

In between the deli rolls and the Pepsi 12-packs, democracy stands front and center, led by 73-year-old Jeanne Claeys.

"I find it hard to see why people don't realize the importance of voting and so when they start to show they might be interested or will vote that makes me feel good," Claeys said.

Jeanne should feel good. The last three weekends, she and 40 other league of women voter volunteers set up shop at supermarkets and malls, registering hundreds of voters, and getting the stateline “electoraly” charged.

"We've been impressed with the number of people registering, more than ever before. So that probably means there will be a lot more people voting," Claeys said. Many of those signing up are first time voters, like 21-year-old Nicole Wright, who in one stop, filled her grocery cart, and punched her voting card. “I was wondering when I was going to have the chance to do it because I have three young children and I don't really have time to do anything but errands like shopping, so it's very convenient," Wright said.

James stairs saw the registration drive in the newspaper, and between football, blitzed the ballot box. “It saves me some time Monday and Tuesday night, searching out where I need to go register, so its real good that have it at the grocery stores here. It makes it convenient, while taking a break from the football game," Stairs said.

And now that her work is done, Claeys is satisfied, signing up dozens of diverse voters. “We meet all kinds of people, and all so very nice, and all have varied background, and all asked interesting questions," Claeys said.

In Winnebago County Monday, you can register at the board of elections from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

In Boone County, you can register at their board of elections from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

In Ogle County, you can register from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.


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