A delay of early voting for the primary election in McLean County has become an issue in the November race for county clerk.
The State Elections Board has allowed counties to choose whether to delay the start of early voting from Feb. 8 to Feb. 20 to wait on results of a legal challenge to the ballot appearance of a candidate for attorney general. Democrat Nikita Richards said Republican Clerk Kathy Michael should not have chosen to delay early voting.
"The voters within our community deserve the full time frame of the early voting period, which is the 40 days," said Richards.
Richards said less time for early voting could lower turnout.
Michael said starting early voting as originally scheduled could disenfranchise some voters.
"How could we have some voters voting for someone and then two weeks later have a different ballot?" said Michael.
Michael said no one has asked to early vote since Feb. 8. She said history shows early voting is sparse in the first week or two of the period during primary elections. People tend to wait longer to make up their minds on candidates during primary contests, she said.
Many counties around McLean chose to start early voting per normal. Statewide the choices have been mixed. Cook County has also chosen to delay early voting.
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