8 places to vote early
URBANA — For the first time, Champaign County's registered voters will have more than one place to cast their ballots during the early period.
Early voting for the March 18 primary election starts Monday at one county location — the Brookens Center in east Urbana. In the past, that was the only site available during the entire early period to any registered county voter.
But come March 11, when seven other sites around the county open for voting, registered voters will have access to those, too.
The expanded early voting will cost less than $5,000, said Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten, and give local voters options unavailable in most other downstate counties.
"Our only cost is a pair of election judges at the seven locations for five days," Hulten said. "We budget for this so we don't need any extra funding. All of the locations are generously provided to us at no cost. And all of the equipment was acquired in previous budget years, using a combination of grants and returned equipment and surplus budget funds.
"It's a very reasonable way for us to expand the convenience ... in an enormous way."
The seven sites that open on March 11 are the same seven used during the 2012 election, Hulten said.
In the 2012 general election, about 25 percent of all voters cast their ballots before Election Day. This time, Hulten believes between 10 and 15 percent will vote early.
All that is needed to vote early, Hulten said, is a photo identification.
CHAMPAIGN COUNTY EARLY VOTING SITES
Open March 3-15
County clerk's office, Brookens Center
1776 E. Washington St., Urbana
Open March 11-15
Illini Union Room 312, 1401 W. Green St., Urbana
Spalding Recreation Center, 910 N. Harris St., Champaign
Meadowbrook Community Church, 1902 S. Duncan Road, Champaign
Grace Church, 800 W. Oak St., Mahomet
Rantoul Recreation Center, 100 W. Flessner Ave., Rantoul
St. Joseph Village Annex, 201 Second St., St. Joseph
Tolono Public Library, 111 E. Main St., Tolono