Mixed Results for Early Voting at Universities

Nov 5, 2012

For the second election year in a row, Illinois is trying out early-voting on select state university campuses. The law requires the polling places be in "high traffic locations."

Credit League of Women Voters

Turnout was low at the University of Illinois Springfield's main cafeteria.  Sangamon County Clerk Joe Aiello says campus voting is expensive:

"At UIS, the voting cost us approximately $100 per voter. And on Election Day, and in the election office ... the cost is about $9 per voter."  - Sangamon County Clerk Joe Aiello

At the University of Illinois in Urbana, 516 early votes had been cast through the middle of last week. That's out of more than 12,500 throughout Champaign County, where County Clerk Gordy Hulten has set up eight early voting locations. He says early voting is a valuable service:

"If they're ready to vote, we want them to vote early, so that they don't get caught in a line on election morning."  - Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten

The campus early voting law was only meant for this election. It remains to be seen whether lawmakers will require it in 2014 and beyond.  Northern Illinois University was also part of the campus early voting experiment.

Illinois Public Radio's Brian Mackey contributed to this report