Press Release: Considering Alternative Election Equipment for Early Voting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 11, 2013

Contact: Gordy Hulten (217.384.3720)

 County Clerk Gordy Hulten Considering Alternative Election Equipment for Early Voting

 

URBANA, IL – Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten today announced his office is considering acquiring alternative election tabulators to allow Champaign County voters more access, convenience and choices for Early Voting.

“Our goal has been to aggressively expand and promote opportunities for Early Voting in Champaign County,” said Hulten. “With our new Early Voting sites proving to be so popular last year, we’re now considering different election equipment that will allow any registered voter in Champaign County to vote early, in person, at any one of eight different locations.”

To facilitate greater flexibility and convenience for Champaign County voters, County Clerk Gordy Hulten is considering a new model of Optical Scan tabulator that can process ballots that would be issued to any voter in Champaign County, whereas current equipment is limited to ballots from no more than ten precincts each.  The new equipment being considered is compatible with existing software used in the County Clerk’s office to create ballots, program elections and combine tabulated results and would not necessitate using different ballots than those used for absentee voting or on Election Day.  The new tabulator models are more user-friendly for voters, and each Early Voting location would be able to issue on-demand and tabulate the correct ballot for any validly registered voter in Champaign County.

“We learned in 2012 that some voters appreciate the convenience of Early Voting, but sometimes the location assigned to them based on their voter registration address wasn’t convenient,” said Hulten.  “Now, if someone lives in Mahomet but works on the University of Illinois campus, they can take advantage of that Early Voting location if they so choose.”

In 2012, for the first time, Early Voting was conducted at locations other than the County Clerk’s office. Hulten introduced new locations in the Illini Union in Urbana, Spalding Recreation Center and Meadowbrook Community Church in Champaign, Grace Church of Mahomet, Rantoul Recreation Center, St. Joseph Village Annex and the Tolono Public Library.  Each new site was available only to voters living in precincts in close proximity, with the County Clerk’s office available as an Early Voting location for all Champaign County Voters.  The November 2012 General Election saw more than 25 percent of Champaign County voters vote Early or Absentee.

“We take seriously the feedback we get from voters on improvements to the services we provide,” said Hulten. “Allowing any registered voter in Champaign County to vote at any Early Voting location is something many asked for in 2012 but have been unable to provide until now.  We would like to have this capability in place for the March 18, 2014 Primary Election.”

County Clerk Gordy Hulten has a demonstration unit of the tabulator being considered for use in Champaign County, and is conducting a series of public events to provide voters an opportunity to use and test, and for the Clerk’s office to solicit feedback.  The schedule of events is:

  • 9/12/2013, 9-10 AM: Champaign County Farm Bureau, 801 Country Fair Drive, Champaign IL 61821
  • 10/16/2013, 10-11 AM: Urbana Free Library, 210 West Green, Urbana IL 61801
  • 10/17/2013, 10-11 AM: Tolono Public Library, 111 East Main Street, Tolono IL 61880
  • 10/22/2013, 10:30 – 11:30 AM: Douglass Branch Champaign Public Library, 504 East Grove Street, Champaign IL 61820
  • 10/22/2013, 6-7 PM: St. Joseph Village Meeting, 207 East Lincoln, St. Joseph IL 61873
  • 10/23/2013, 10:30-11:30 AM: Champaign Public Library-Main, 200 West Green Street, Champaign IL 61820
  • 11/12/2013: 5:30-6:30 PM: Rantoul Village Meeting, 333 South Tanner Street, Rantoul IL 61866
  • 11/26/2013: 5-6 PM: Mahomet Village Meeting, 503 East Main Street, Mahomet IL 61853

Voters who cannot make any of the scheduled events but who have questions, concerns or feedback should contact Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten at (217) 384-3724 or mail@champaigncountyclerk.com.

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