Early Voting

By: Narina Crain
By: Narina Crain

Hundreds of Winnebago county residents are heading to the polls this week. Most of them aren't casting absentee ballots... They're simply voting early.

"If you're voting absentee you have to have a specific reason why you're not going to your polling place. But the legislators changed the law last year which allows early voting so anyone can come in and vote," said Debbie Hopkins, an employee of the Rockford elections office.

People who try the early voting process in Winnebago County outside of Rockford will also get to use new technology. They will use an electronic TSX machine. All information is stored on a card instead of a paper ballot. After voters are done they can look over their choices on a paper printout that is kept for records.

"It will tell you if there's any rejected ballots, if there's any changing of votes," said Brandon McPherson, an employee of the Winnebago County Elections office.

Political parties are struggling to get the word out about early voting.
Some campaign managers are trying to use early voting to their advantage. They're alerting their party base about the new opportunity.

"The republican party will be focusing on trying to get republicans and undecided voters to go out and vote for our ticket," Jay Rodriguez, campaign manager for James Kidd.

"It really does make the push about three weeks earlier, so as far as getting information out, as far as when we're going media campaigns it makes an impact," said Mike Wilson, campaign manager for Dan Lewandowski.

Early voting continues until November second.

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