Behind the scenes look at pre-Election Day preparation

Published: Nov. 7, 2022 at 7:17 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Most people know what happens when they vote, but it’s what happens before they vote that’s gotten the attention of many across the U.S. and in the Stateline.

With less than 20 hours before voting begins, 23News got a sneak peak into last-minute preparations for the elections. Even with a lot of people choosing early voting, analysts still expect a decent turnout at the polls.

“We’re already working on the election for next spring, so I mean we’re always in election mode here in Winnebago County,” said Lori Gummow, the Winnebago County clerk.

As minutes pass and Election Day grows near, election offices are focused with last minute preparations for November 8. Gummow even calls the entire process, “tough work.”

“I don’t think people quite realize how much work there is going on behind the scenes,” she said.

Gummow explains that it starts with recruiting 500 electoral judges to count the votes. Once that is done, then polling locations are chosen based on location, the number of registered voters in the area and accessibility for individuals with disabilities.

“Then we have all the supplies that we deployed yesterday. So we had five rental trucks going out with all the tabulators and supplies and materials,” Gummow explained.

Pens and “I voted” stickers are small but important supplies accord to Gummow. Once the clock reaches seven on Tuesday night, the tabulators get to work counting votes.

“They have brail if they can read brail. They can put on a headset and then you can put in like a little paper ballot and you can touch the screen,” said Gummow.

“The results you see on election night are unofficial. It gives our office the time to go through all the vote by mail ballots, look through any issues that need to be resolved and it gives us time to make sure that everything is correct before we certify it to the state,” she said.

Gummow states she wants to emphasize to people they must fill in the circle on the ballot. Do not put a check mark or an ‘X’ by the candidate you choose.

New Milford Station, North Suburban Library and Windsor Baptist Church are some of the polling places open to voters. Visit for more information.