Post card error sends 3,000 voters to wrong polling location

Illinois Capitol News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — Three thousand households in Sangamon County received post cards from their local election authority sending them to the wrong polling location, according to clerk Don Gray.

“There was an error in the layout and the printing of our final notice to voters that had a poll change,” Gray said on Wednesday.

“It’s important to us, obviously, with being accountable and transparent to the electoral process that we inform them right away that that last notice was incorrect.”

Nine polling locations changed ahead of this election, affecting 21 precincts in Sangamon County. Gray’s office routinely notifies registered voters about those changes with three post cards. New post cards with the corrected information are being printed and mailed out immediately.

If any voters show up to a closed polling location on election day, Gray says signs posted curbside and on the building’s door will redirect them to the right spot.

The mistake comes amid the busiest stretch of the year for local election officials as they oversee a record surge of mail-in ballots and early voting. Election data shows more than 1.3 million voters have already cast a ballot in Illinois, with more than half of those coming in the mail. More than 21 percent of registered voters in Sangamon County have already voted.

“In Sangamon County alone, we’ve had 24,000 [ballots] returned, validated and tabulated,” he said. “We’ve got about 12,000 to go.”

Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by November 3rd in order to be counted. The clerk can still accept a ballot as late as November 17th, so long as it was mailed on Election Day.

Gray urged voters who still have not sent in their mail-in ballots not to procrastinate until the last minute because it “could delay a close election.” He said “it’s time to get it back to the election authorities so we can validate it, get it tabulated to ensure that we’ve got it back on time and that your vote gets counted.”

“If you’ve got a ballot in hand now, we want you to take the time to make your choices, mark the ballot, get it back to us so that we can report your votes at the close of polls on November 3rd.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.