Election day may be three weeks away, but Rockford voters are already heading to the polls. Caroline Arlen says, "We decided to come down and vote early because we're going to be out of state when the election happens."
Lawrence Clayton adds, "Well I think more or less to avoid the rush when the election starts on November 4th, so early voting is an opportunity."
Employees say both the Winnebago County and City of Rockford election offices were busy on Tuesday. The Executive Director of the Rockford Board of Elections Nancy Strain says, "It's been gaining popularity. It only has been in effect, we've had it in Illinois for two years so there hasn't been too many elections but more people are deciding they like to do that a lot better. "
Rockford voters are given an optical scan before heading to the ballot box where they color in the oval next to the candidate of their choice. Election officials say they haven't encountered any problems so far, and the voters are happy with the service. Clayton says, "Very efficient. I don't see any issues. Well instructed and telling us where to go and how to vote and how to enter the ballot into the automatic processor."
If you haven't registered to vote yet and you live in Rockford you can still come to the election office and do so, but you will have to cast your ballot that same day
Early voting is available for Rockford voters at the election office from 8:30am-5:00pm on Monday through Friday and from 9:00am-12:00pm Saturday and Sunday until October 30. Voters can also go to Bethany United Methodist Church Wednesday October 15th - Friday October 17th from 10:00am-2:00pm. Heartland Church will have early voting from October 21 through the 24th from 10:00am-2:00pm.