JOLIET – The Will County Clerk’s Office will suspend all services Nov. 8 that are not related to the 2016 general election.
The Will County Board on June 20 adopted a resolution to suspend clerk’s office services Nov. 8, March 20, 2018, and Nov. 6, 2018, so the staff can devote itself to assisting voters and answering the expected high volume of phone calls on those election days.
Rebecca Leder, an election analyst for the clerk’s office, said services are normally limited on election days. But because Nov. 8 includes a presidential election, Will County Clerk Nancy Schultz Voots expects voter turnout to be significantly higher than the 45 percent turnout for the March primaries.
Adding to delays in March was the same-day voter registration bill that brought throngs of new voters to the same waiting lines as pre-registered voters. Schultz Voots said some pre-registered voters chose to leave rather than vote, and the goal is to not have that happen again.
While the clerk’s office is glad to have more new voters, accommodating pre-registered voters has become a challenge.
“With same-day registration there are a lot of people coming in to register and vote at the same time,” Leder said. “It takes longer to register than to actually vote.”
The clerk’s office is urging registered voters to vote by mail if possible, and for potential voters to register long before Nov. 8.
Earlier this month, Schultz Voots was given the green light by the Will County Board to buy 375 more poll books and other equipment for about $426,000. This, too, is meant to move lines along faster.
Services that will be suspended Nov. 8 include issuing marriage and civil union licenses; providing certified copies of birth, death and marriage certificates; and any back tax issues. Visit www.thewillcountyclerk.com to find alternative methods for obtaining these items Nov. 8. Appointments can be made for marriage licenses and civil unions at the DuPage Township office in Bolingbrook, the Crete Township office and the Plainfield Township office.
In case of an emergency, people can acquire a birth certificate at the clerk’s office if it is required for them to leave the country.
IMPORTANT 2016 ELECTION DATES
• Sept. 29 – First day ballots can be mailed
• Sept. 29 – First day for early voting at Will County Clerk’s Office
• Oct. 11 – Last day to register to vote
• Nov. 3 – Last day to request a vote by mail ballot
• Nov. 8 – Last day for grace period registration and voting