What to Expect on Election Day

From McHenry County Clerk Joe Tirio:

What to expect as the election comes to a close.

Where we are and where we were.

Joe Tirio

During the 2016 General Election, early voting and our total vote by mail came to only about 47,000 votes. Election Day voters in 2016 totaled about 98,012 for a total turnout of approximately 145,00

At the time of this writing (Friday, late afternoon), voters have cast more than 100,000 votes either by mail, or during early voting.

Like so much of 2020, this election is unlike anything we’ve seen before.

Only time will tell what our overall turnout will be, but it looks like it will be huge!

Universal Polling Place

One of the best things in the recent changes to election law is the ability for a county to have a “Universal Polling Place”.

This is a polling place with no particular population assigned to it, but that can service a voter from anywhere in the county.

It’s just like early voting, but on Election Day. Why is that important? Let’s say your assigned polling place has long lines.

If you don’t want to wait in the line, come to the universal polling place.

There’s a good chance that the line will be shorter there!

Our universal polling place will be at the County Administration Building, 667 Ware Rd, Woodstock, IL

Inconclusive Election Night

On previous Election Nights, we would usually go to sleep with a pretty good idea of who won and lost.

That was true because the vast majority of the votes were coming from in-person votes on Election day.

This election (like nearly everything in 2020) will be different.

As so many of our votes in this election came from vote by mail, and, many of them will not be counted by 7:00 PM on Tuesday, the results on Election Night will likely be less conclusive than in previous elections.

On November 18th, we will release results that will include any valid vote by mail ballots that had not been included in the previous tally, as well as any povisional ballots.

While these results are still technically unofficial, they will be far more meaningful than what is released on the third.

Lines at the polls

Despite the huge pre-election turnout, we are still expecting lines at the polls on Election Day.

This is due, to some degree, to social distancing.

Six feet between voters begins to add up pretty quickly.

So, keep in mind that while the physical length of the line may be long, the time to wait may not be as long as it looks.

Drop box

On Election Day, the only drop box that will be available will be the one at the County Administration building (667 Ware Rd, Woodstock, IL).

At 7:00 PM, a member of our staff will identify the last person in line for the box at that time.

When they have voted, the drop box will be locked shut.

COVID restrictions

The COVID restriction put in place recently have no impact on polling places.

So, your ability to vote has not and will not change as a result.

Thank you.

To the hundreds to Election Judges, all the school and library administrators, municipalities, private businesses and especially my staff, a heartfelt thanks for the tireless effort and focus on serving our community through this once-in-a-lifetime election.

The public may never fully understand the effort that went into making our election happen, but I certainly do, and am eternally grateful.

For more information

To get the best, near-real time information, please visit our web site (McHenryCountyClerk.com) and/or our Facebook page


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