ILLINOIS — Early voting began about two weeks ago. Voter turnout is mixed around the state. So far, Sangamon County has had more than 300 people come to the polls early. Macon and Vermilion counties are lagging behind with about half as much turnout.
Most people in Springfield say they’re voting early because they already know who they want to be their next president.
“I know my opinion has not changed who I’m going to vote for between now and Election Day.”
Todd Clearwater has already made up his mind about who he’s voting for next month.
“This is my first early voting. I’ve voted in every election. I just know I won’t be in town on voting day, so this is the best option.”
He says it doesn’t matter when as long as you vote.
“I think it’s important that anyone that’s in our society go out and, if you’re going to have an opinion, go ahead and vote.”
Other people taking advantage say this election is a game-changer.
“I think the way things are going, it’s important to vote in the primaries, both at the presidential and at the state level. Things have never been more important than they are now.”
After the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, some voters say the next president could possibly change dynamics in Supreme Court rulings.
“It’s important that we come out, make your voice heard because, not only will we be electing the next president, but we’re also basically saying which way the Supreme Court is going to go.”
But, not everyone is jumping on the early voting bandwagon. Some say they don’t like having to declare a party.
“Because you got to declare your politics and I’m a type of person that votes for the man, not the politics.”
Rodger Ledagg never votes in a primary election, but sees the benefit of making it easier on other voters.
“I’m not against early voting.”
“You mean, before the election?”
“No, I’m not against that. I’m just against primaries.”
At the end of the day, most people say, as long as you get to the polls when you can.
“Vote, so you can share your opinion and make a difference, hopefully, who’s representing us.”
For those still not registered to vote, you have until Election Day to register in person at your local election office.
Macon County officials say they’ve had a slow start. They’ve only seen about 200 early voters. As for Vermilion County, it’s been the same pace as other elections. They’ve also had about 200 voters. Sangamon County has had more than 300.