A new law allowing voters to register and vote on election day has county clerks in western and central Illinois on edge. With a special election to replace scandal-plagued U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock expected to occur in June or July, the clerks say they don’t have enough time or money to get the new system up and running. “There’s no way we can be ready for that,” McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael said Friday. At issue is a pending special election in the 18th Congressional District, which had been held by Schock for eight years.
Dogged by ethics questions and now the subject of a federal probe, the globetrotting 33-year-old Peoria Republican announced earlier this week that he would step down March 31. A date for voters to select a replacement has not been set, but it is expected to occur after the June 1 start date of the same-day registration law.
A handful of clerks from the 19-county district met Friday in Springfield to discuss the unexpected election and the ramifications of the new law. Sangamon County Clerk Don Gray said preparing his county for same day registration could cost his county up to $200,000. Michael said the cost of preparing her county for same day registration at each polling place is about $300,000.