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Rock Island County Clerk: Vote-by-mail applications from other sources causing confusion

Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 7:15 AM CDT
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ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) - Rock Island County Clerk Karen Kinney said vote-by-mail applications sent out from other sources outside the county have caused some confusion.

Kinney said her office has been fielding hundreds of phone calls from residents questioning various vote-by-mail applications that they have received in the mail as of Wednesday.

Kinney said these applications are from other sources, typically political action committees, that obtain voter information from the Illinois State Board of Elections.

“While this is technically legal, these outside groups do not meet the high standards of protecting the process that I do,” she said in a media release. “This is a serious matter and we want to protect the integrity of the voting system.”

Kinney said the mailers from the other sources appear to have been printed in part with wrong information, such as birth dates, and a return address in Peoria, Illinois, which has caused confusion.

Registered voters can now complete an application, which will permit the county clerk’s office to mail an official ballot to them beginning Sept. 24.

The clerk’s office will put official applications into the mail on Thursday, July 30, in accordance with the new Illinois election statutes due to the coronavirus.

Applications can be mailed to the Rock Island County Clerk’s Office or hand-delivered between now and prior to Oct. 29, at 1504 3rd Avenue, Rock Island, IL.

“We would encourage applicants to return their form directly to the County Clerk’s Office to ensure timely and safe processing,” Kinney said, adding she has implemented more safety and security measures and voters should have confidence in all methods of voting.

She continued, “We encourage all voters to vote-by-mail because that is the best way we can reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure to both our election workers and the general public. Teams of bipartisan Election Judges will verify each applicant’s information and signature before mailing the Official Ballot, which secures the voting process.

More information on voter registration and voting are available at www.votericounty.org or by calling the Rock Island County Clerk’s Election Hotline at 786-VOTE (309-786-8683). All visitors to the county clerk’s office will need to pass through the security checkpoint at the main entrance.

Additionally, due to the coronavirus, all visitors to the building must wear a face mask that covers their nose and mouth. Parking is available for limited times on the street in front of the building, or for free in the parking ramp one block east of the building.

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