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Hundreds apply to vote by mail permanently in McDonough County

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Rich Egger
/
TSPR

Illinois voters can now apply to vote by mail permanently. County clerk offices mailed out the forms a few weeks ago and voters in McDonough County have been quick to respond.

“We’ve probably had between 600 and 700 people send back their permanent vote by mail application,” said McDonough County Clerk Gretchen DeJaynes, adding she expects the forms to keep coming in.

“We are getting a stack a day still back from them. We are getting people bringing them back to us. Yes, I do anticipate getting a few hundred more.”

However, she does not expect permanent vote by mail to increase voter turnout.

“It’s our right to vote. We are very fortunate in this country that we have that right. People either choose to take it or they don’t. I don’t know that any amount of pushing makes people vote or not vote. I think it’s just your personal choice,” she said.

DeJaynes said those who apply to vote by mail will still have the option of voting in-person either early or on Election Day. She said they will need to surrender the mail-in ballot when they show up.

Voters can also have their name removed from the permanent vote by mail list if they change their mind about it.

DeJaynes said voting by mail is a convenient and safe way to cast a ballot.

“We have not experienced mail trouble. I know you hear about that nationally. I cannot say we have had trouble here in McDonough County,” she said.

Early voting for this fall’s elections in Illinois begins on September 29.

Election Day is November 8.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.