Originally Posted Online: Oct. 24, 2012, 7:10 pm
Last Updated: Oct. 24, 2012, 10:54 pm

Early voters find delays, long lines

Comment on this story

By Dawn Neuses, dneuses@qconline.com

Long lines and a paper jam slowed voting Wednesday at the Moline Public Library, one of five early voting sites in Rock Island County.

As many as 50 people were in the line leading through the lobby and into the room set up for voting. Those in line said were long waits.

Carol and Paul S. Erickson, both of Moline, said while leaving that they waited an hour and a half to cast ballots. "We were told a machine broke down," Mr. Erickson said, adding the line wasn't longer than it would be on election day. The difference is on election day, the polls are staffed heavier, he said.

Rock Island County Clerk Karen Kinney said it is true on election day the polls will be staffed heavier and each polling place will have more voting booths. She said there were lines at each of the five early voting sites Wednesday, something people should expect during a presidential election, she said.

"Everyone in line is calm and patient," she said.

She spent an hour and a half at the Moline library. She said people there waited an average of 53 minutes and there was not a voting machine down, only a paper jam that took a couple of minutes to fix.

Early voting began at five locations in Rock Island County Monday. Since then, approximately 7,000 people have voted, Ms. Kinney said.

"One election day, the lines will be a lot longer and parking spaces a lot harder to find. A presidential election is always busy," Ms. Kinney said, adding the county opened three early voting sites in addition to the two it was mandated to have.

"Thank goodness they are able to vote here. If not, there would be some very long lines on election day," she said.

"Please be patient," Ms. Kinney advised those planning to vote early. "I am thrilled everyone is turning out to vote. I would be more concerned if no one was showing up."

Early voting began in Illinois on Monday and runs until Nov. 3, three days before the Nov. 6 election. There are five early voting locations in Rock Island County:

- Rock Island County Clerk's Office, 1504 3rd Ave, Rock Island, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Oct. 27 and Nov. 3.
- Western Illinois University, 3300 River Drive, Moline, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday
- Silvis City Council Chambers, 121 11th St., Silvis, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday
- Moline Public Library, 3210 41st St., Moline, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday
- Milan Municipal Building, 405 E. 1st St., Milan, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday

Grace registration runs into Nov. 3 and allows anyone not registered to vote to register at the Rock Island County Clerk's office. They must then vote straight after registering. Two forms of identification are required, and one must include the person's address.

Voters casting an early ballot must display a current driver's license, a state-issued ID card or another government-issued ID with a photograph.