Voter turnout tough to predict
By Cindy Wojdyla Cain email@example.com November 5, 2012 11:20PM
Mary Beth Perros, administrative clerk, double checks the amount of early votes received by the village of Bolingbrook at the Will County Clerk's office Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, at 302 N. Chicago St. in Joliet. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Get out and vote
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Updated: December 7, 2012 6:13AM
After a decade in office, Will County Clerk Nancy Schultz Voots has learned to be a little more cautious about predicting voter turnout.
For many elections, Voots aimed high, only to be brought back to reality. So this year, she’s a more careful prognosticator.
Voots predicted 76 percent of the county’s 386,172 voters will cast ballots, which is about the same as the last presidential election turnout of 76.14 percent.
“I really want to say 85 percent,” she said. “But I’m just going by the numbers I had four years ago. I’m hoping it’s going to be a little bit more, but I’m sticking with 76 percent.”
Many voters took advantage of early voting, absentee voting and grace period voting this year. A total of 51,396 opted for absentee voting as of Saturday, that’s up from 46,184 four years ago. Another 39,346 took advantage of early voting and grace period voting, up from than the 37,173 four years ago.
Voots said voters were lined up in the Will County Office Building lobby and all the way to Scott Street on for the final day of early voting.
After all 303 precincts are counted on election night, Voots’ office will add in grace period votes.
Also, Voots reminded candidates that two weeks from Election Day, absentee ballots postmarked by midnight Monday and provisional votes would be counted. That’s why Voots warns candidates in close races, “You can’t celebrate until two weeks later.”
Other Election Day tips from Voots included:
If you can’t remember where your polling place is, look at your voter registration card, the voter information guide that was sent to your home or you can go to www.thewillcountyclerk.com or call 815-740-4620 for help.
Polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. If you are in line to vote at 7 p.m., you are entitled to vote.
Election judges will ask you to sign your ballot application and if the signatures match, you do not have to show an ID.
The Auto Mark voting system is available for voters with disabilities.
Match your ballot style number on your application receipt with your actual ballot to make sure you have the right ballot style before you vote. If you have any concerns about the ballot ask the judges for help and do not vote. “Once you put your ballot into that ballot box — that’s it. You only get one vote,” Voots warned.
Don’t wear hats, T-shirts or buttons with candidates’ names on them inside the polling place. All electioneering has to be at least 100 feet from the polling place.
The Will County state’s attorney’s election fraud hotline number is 815-727-8872.