Metro-East News

Tuesday is Election Day. This is what you need to know.

Tips for voters on Election Day Tuesday

St. Clair County Clerk Tom Holbrook discusses what voters could do to prepare before casting a ballot in the municipal elections on Tuesday in St. Clair County, in southern Illinois, near St. Louis, Mo.
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St. Clair County Clerk Tom Holbrook discusses what voters could do to prepare before casting a ballot in the municipal elections on Tuesday in St. Clair County, in southern Illinois, near St. Louis, Mo.

Tuesday is Election Day, and polls are scheduled to be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Voters in this election will be voting on several referendums including proposed sales tax increases to bolster public safety in St. Clair County and for school facilities in both St. Clair and Madison counties.

Also, townships are holding elections for its positions, municipalities are choosing who will city councils or village boards leaders, and school districts are choosing who will serve on school boards.

Among the choices voters will make is who will be mayor in Belleville, Swansea, O’Fallon and Shiloh.

To find out where to vote in Madison County go to madisonvotes.com or to www.countyclerk.co.st-clair.il.us/elections/pages/ballots.aspx in St. Clair County. East St. Louis voters can go to eslelections.org.

Anyone with questions or concerns on election day can call the St. Clair County Clerk’s Office at 618-277-6600 Ext. 2377, the Madison County Clerk’s Office at 618-692-6290 or East St. Louis at 618-482-6672.

To read candidate profiles in city and village elections, click here.

To read candidate profiles in school board elections, click here.

To read candidate profiles in township elections, click here.

To read our series on the sales tax votes for school facilities and public safety, click here.

Counting the votes

After polls close, county clerks’ offices and election judges will begin tallying up ballots to determine the winners.

Madison County Clerk Debra Ming-Mendoza said results in Madison County should start being posted around 8 p.m. and completed between 9:30 and 10 p.m.

Vote totals from early voting and voting by mail are expected to be posted first.

“Once ... precincts start delivering memory cards, it goes fast,” Mendoza said.

Madison County has five locations for judges from the 225 precincts to deliver their vote counts on election night, and each site is able to upload results to county servers.

Assigned locations are in Collinsville, Granite City, Wood River, Alton and Edwardsville.

“Everyone is delivering their information at the same time to different places, which allows us to upload it quickly,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza said this limits the number of judges that have to travel to Edwardsville, find parking, and potentially wait for 200 precincts to deliver their results.

Don’t be there when they first open if you don’t have to be there. Everyone is heading to work in the morning, The (busy) times are right when the go to work and when they come home from work.

St. Clair County Clerk Tom Holbrook

In St. Clair County, all the election judges have to bring their materials at the end of election day to the St. Clair County Courthouse in Belleville.

St. Clair County Clerk Tom Holbrook said having satellite locations on election night for its 191 precincts would be cost-prohibitive on his department’s limited budget.

“It’s very expensive; it can be very challenging to make sure it’s coordinated properly,” Holbrook said. “Even if I wanted to do it, I don’t know if I have the funds to do it.”

All election judges, no matter the county, also have to deliver the ballots that were cast, a tally of the number of write-ins for each precinct and have to make sure the number of ballots that were cast match the spindle that contains the names of people who voted.

Voters across the metro-east in southern Illinois went to the polls Tuesday for city, school and township elections. The municipal election results will be available after the polls close at 7 p.m.

St. Clair County Election Supervisor Laura Kaemmerer said judges at the polling places have to look at every single ballot, and every single write-in line to determine if the write in is valid, as candidates need to register as a write-in candidate.

Some areas have more than one write-in spot, and across St. Clair County, there are about 35 write-in candidates registered, which may extend the ballot-counting process.

“It may take them a little longer,” Kaemmerer said. “They’re going to have to look at all those ballots and tally up all those votes.”

However, the number of votes each valid write-in candidate receives won’t be entered into the systems until the following day.

It may take them a little longer. They’re going to have to look at all those ballots and tally up all those votes.

St. Clair County Elections supervisor, on counting write-in votes

The totals for early voting and the vote by mail ballots that have been received, are counted beginning at 7 p.m., but those won’t be posted until the particular precincts come in on election night, Holbrook said. However, preparation to start counting those ballots will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Holbrook expects results in St. Clair County will begin being posted at 8:30 p.m. with probably two updates. He said in previous elections, 95 percent of votes had been counted by 9 or 10 p.m.

Whatever results are reported Tuesday night are unofficial, and vote by mail ballots are accepted until April 18. Vote-by-mail ballots have to have postmarked by Tuesday.

Holbrook said people who vote Tuesday should try to go earlier in the day, if possible. He also suggested not going right before work or right after work if you can help it.

“Don’t be there when they first open if you don’t have to be there,” Holbrook said. “Everyone is heading to work in the morning, The (busy) times are right when they go to work and when they come home from work.”

Voters can also bring notes, literature to serve as reminders of who to vote for into the voting booth with them, but people cannot leave materials in the booths, Holbrook said.

St. Clair County Sheriff Rick Watson discusses the 1-cent sales tax increase that will be on the ballot.

What you need to know:

  • Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m
  • To find out where to to vote in Madison County go to madisonvotes.com or to http://www.countyclerk.co.st-clair.il.us/elections/Pages/ballots.aspx in St. Clair County, or go to http://eslelections.org/ for voters in East St. Louis.
  • Anyone with questions or concerns on election day can call the St. Clair County Clerk’s office at (618) 277-6600 Ext. 2377, or the Madison County Clerk’s office at (618) 692-6290. or in East St. Louis at 618-482-6672.
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