Before the first thaw, Illinois residents have long enjoyed the privilege of early voting, a policy enacted to make elections more flexible and more convenient for the electorate. Rather than limiting voters to a 13-hour period on a single workday, early voting provides voters with flexibility and convenience by permitting voting at multiple times and dates prior to Election Day. Before the enactment of early voting regulations, issues such as vacations, inclement weather and lack of parking resulted in lower overall voter turnout. Early voting enables increased voter turnout, a hallmark of democracy.
Although legal challenges to some ballots delayed the start of early voting this year, I am pleased to report that the polls in Lake County will officially open on March 5 for early voting in the March 20 General Primary Election. Each early voting site can serve any Lake County voter.
Any registered voter (or prospective voters who have not yet registered and seek grace period registration) will be able to vote in the General Primary Election Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the following locations in Lake County:
- Antioch Township Office (Lake Villa)
- Ela Township Office (Lake Zurich)
- Freemont Township Highway Bldg. (Mundelein)
- Highland Park Police Station (Highland Park)
- Lake Barrington Village Hall (Lake Barrington)
- Lake County Central Permit Facility (Libertyville)
- Lake Forest City Hall (Lake Forest)
- Round Lake Village Hall (Round Lake)
- Peterson Park (Prairie View)
- West Deerfield Township Office (Deerfield)
- Zion City Hall (Zion)
Additionally, select sites offer extended voting hours in Lake County:
- Gurnee Village Hall (Gurnee)
- Jane Addams Center-Bowen Park (Waukegan)
- Lake County Courthouse and Administrative Complex (Waukegan)
- North Chicago City Hall (North Chicago)
Please note the dates and times of these extended operations. March 5-11: Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.; and Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
March 12-18: Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; and Sunday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
March 19: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
All polls will be open at all voting sites on March 20 from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Our League is very proud that we assisted nearly 10 percent of the senior class of Lake Forest High School with voter registration during the National Voter Registration Day last fall. We encourage these newly minted voters — and all registered voters — to exercise the essential privilege of democracy and cast a vote in the March 20 General Primary Election.
Wyn Cain, President
League of Women Voters of Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Area