JERSEYVILLE - Election Day is approaching in Jersey County, where mail-in and early voting have begun. Jersey County Clerk Pam Warford said this year’s early voting is starting to pick up, and hopes for a large turnout on June 28.

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The early voting period for this election began on May 19 and will end on June 27. Polls will open for regular voting on Election Day at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. More information about polling places for Jersey County is available on the Jersey County Clerk website.

Warford said this year’s early voting turnout has been about average so far, but is starting to pick up as the election draws closer.

“We’ve had a decent turnout, it’s starting to pick up more this week,” Warford said. “We’ve had at this point approximately 350 early voters, so it’s starting to pick up and moving along pretty well.”

The last day to apply to vote by mail in Jersey County is June 23, and the application is available on the Jersey County Clerk website. Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Election Day on June 28 and received by July 12, or Warford said they can be hand-delivered or placed in the Jersey County Clerk’s Office drop box by 7 p.m. on Election Night.

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Warford said this year’s mail-in turnout is “not too bad,” but “nothing like the 2020 General Election.” Out of approximately 150 vote-by-mail requests, Warford said she’s received about 50-60 percent of those back.

“The overall trend of vote-by-mail is up, but the 2020 General Election was a huge vote-by-mail election, so we’re not seeing the same type of thing we saw for the 2020 General,” Warford said. “A primary is a lower turnout election anyway than a general election, but in 2020 of course we were in the middle of the pandemic during the general … I would say that before 2020, vote-by-mail might’ve made up about 4-5% of our total voting, and we may approach closer to 10% now.”

Based on the numbers so far, Warford said she hopes for a decent turnout this Election Day.

“I would sure hope for 25-30%, which sounds really low, but that would be a nice turnout at a primary in Jersey County,” Warford said. “We just never know, there are so many factors.”

One of the biggest contributing factors to a different turnout this year may be the fact the Illinois primary elections were delayed from late March to June. Warford said she had “no idea” what effect the weather might have on the Election Day turnout.

Several candidates will seek their party’s nomination for a range of local offices - a full list of the candidates is available on the Jersey County Clerk website.

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