Cook explains mail-in ballots


ROCHELLE – With Election Day approaching and mail-in ballots increasing in popularity this year, the county mailed out applications to all registered voters.
Individuals in Ogle County who are currently registered to vote have already received or will be receiving a mail-in ballot application no later than Aug. 1. If a resident chooses to vote by mail, all he or she has to do is mail back the completed application.
If a mail-in ballot application is not received by Aug. 1, it is recommended to contact the Ogle County Clerk’s Office to make sure the individual is registered to vote. The mail-in ballot application can then be downloaded from www.oglecounty.org.
“The applications were just sent out last week and we know voters have been receiving them because we have been getting them sent back to our office,” Cook said.
To receive a mail-in ballot, the Ogle County Clerk’s Office must receive the application no later than Oct. 29 and the ballot itself must be postmarked from the post office by Nov. 3. The only way to turn in mail-in ballots and applications is by mail, as there will be no drop-off location in Ogle County this year.
Anybody who is not currently registered to vote can do so in person with a deputy registrar until Oct. 6. The only requirements to register are that the individual be 18 years or older, a U.S. citizen and bring a form of ID and proof of address.
A deputy registrar can be found at the Ogle County Courthouse as well as many libraries and city village halls. Individuals who have not registered to vote by Oct. 6 can visit the Ogle County Courthouse after Oct. 6 and before Election Day to register and vote.
“Those who have not registered by the deadline of Oct. 6. can still do so during what they call the grace period,” Ogle County Clerk Laura Cook said.
 The county is also in need of election judges this year and is asking the community for its help. Anybody who is over the age of 18 can sign up to be a judge and anybody between the ages of 16 and 18 can sign up to be a student election judge.
The only requirements are that the individual be registered to vote in the county they will be judging in. Judges are paid $120 for the day and begin work at 5 a.m. and work until after 7 p.m. when the election is finished. To sign up to be a judge, call the county clerk’s office at 815-732-1110.
“Whether it is vote-by-mail, early voting or in person, I just hope that people participate the way that they want to,” Cook said.

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