Officials respond to ballot error, say it should not impact voting decisions

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CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Election officials say an error on ballots for Urbana residents should have a minimal impact on voters.

Ballots sent to Urbana voters say school board candidates are running for four-year terms, when they are actually running for two-year terms. Subdistricts 1, 3, 5 and 7 are all up for election this cycle. Peggy Patten (5) is not seeking re-election.

Matt Dietrich with the Illinois State Board of Elections calls the error “technical in nature.”

“School board members run on on a staggered system where either we’ll go four years, four years, and then two years, or two years, four years and four years,” Dietrich says. “It’s created that way, so that after each census and the first election, after each census, which in this case is going to be two years from now, you’ll have all candidates running.”

Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons says he’s addressed the issue by putting up signs with the clarification at election sites and by adding notes to mail-in ballots that were sent out after officials were made aware of the issue. No candidates were left off the ballots.

“This is not something that affects the will or intent of the voter at all,” Ammons says. “We don’t anticipate it having any impact on the outcome.”

“Really, this isn’t a situation that’s going to have a substantial effect, if any, on voting decisions,” Dietrich says. “And it’s also a mistake that can fairly easily be resolved.”

The deadline to request a vote by mail ballot online or via mail will be this Thursday, April 1.

Ammons wants to remind voters there will not be drop-boxes this election, so anyone returning a ballot by mail will need to mail it in or physically bring it to the county clerk’s office.

As WCIA reported yesterday, the Point of Change Church in Mahomet will no longer serve as a voting location due to flooding. Voters should instead go to Elk’s Pavilion at Lake of the Woods. Ammons says a sign has been posted at the original location.

The Gathering Place (1st United Methodist Church) in Rantoul will be closed on Easter Sunday for early voting.

To see times and locations for early voting, click here.

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