Expanded options provided to voters in recent years are a good thing.
Decades ago, the only option was to show up at your designated polling place on Election Day and cast your ballot.
If you couldn’t make it to the polls, tough luck.
Eventually, absentee voting became an option. However, it was to be used only by people who physically could not travel to the polls, or who expected to be out of town on Election Day.
Since March 2006, the law was changed to allow registered voters to vote early at the county clerk’s election office and other locations spread through the county. No excuse was needed. In addition, those who failed to register to vote by the deadline could still register during a certain period of time, but they then had to vote on the spot.
We favor laws that encourage people to vote and give them more options to do so.
According to the McHenry County Clerk’s Office, local residents are taking advantage of those expanded options.
Early voting opened Monday at 10 locations in the county, and Clerk Katherine Schultz reported long lines at many of them. With each election, more and more people are taking advantage of early voting, Schultz said. This is the second presidential election in which early voting is available.
Of course, if you intend to take advantage of early voting, make sure you know whom you’re going to vote for and how you’re going to vote on each referendum on the ballot.
You can learn about candidates in contested races at NWHerald.com/election. We’ve got candidates responses to our questionnaires, as well as video of candidates answering questions from our Editorial Board.
McHenry County residents can cast early ballots at the McHenry County Administration Building, Algonquin Township, Crystal Lake City Hall, Huntley Park District, Lake in the Hills Village Hall, McHenry City Hall, McHenry Township, Nunda Township, Dunham Township and Marengo City Hall.
For information about specific times and days, visit the clerk’s website at www.co.mchenry.il.us/departments/countyclerk.