ROCK ISLAND CO., Ill. (KWQC) – The deadline for Illinois voters to apply for an absentee ballot has passed. But recent confusion about the process has left some with concerns their ballot won’t make it in time.
“That’s my home, that’s where I’m from, that’s where I want to be voting,” said Rock Island County voter Nate Trinrud via facetime.
The graduate student is currently studying in Califorina. He said he requested an absentee ballot two weeks ago, but still hasn’t gotten anything in the mail.
“I called to check in to check on its status on Friday and they said they’d sent it out,” Trinrud said. “I called again today and they said it probably went out early this week in reality.”
Now five days to the election Trinrud is not sure his vote will make it in time.
“I got a little nervous because when I asked what do I do if it doesn’t come in time they were just like ‘nothing –that’s it you can’t vote then,’” he said.
Karen Kinney with the Rock Island County Clerk’s Office said this mix up can happen when you apply for a ballot through outside offices. Something Trinrud said he didn’t realize he was doing until he went to mail in the request.
“It was like a prepaid envelope and I think it actually went to Bloomington first, so it took more time than I even anticipated,” Trinrud said.
Kinney said third party absentee request forms can slow down the process of you getting your ballot and feels something needs to change.
“I think it’s fine if they want to help us by sending out applications but I think all the applications need to be returned to the county clerk’s office,” Kinney said.
If you missed the absentee deadline, Kinney said, you can still come back and vote in person.
“You can come in here on the weekend, you can vote. You could also vote next week on election day,” Kinney said.
But voters like Trinrud who are thousands of miles away, they’ll have to wait and see if their ballot comes in time.
“This is a really important election,” he said. “And I know I’m far from home but I still should be able to vote.”
Absentee ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 8 to be counted for the election. If you would like to check the status of your absentee ballot, contact your local clerk’s office.