Early voting, absentee or in person? Your election choices

Are you registered to vote?

If so, will you be hitting the polls this November or checking the boxes by mail?

These are all things to consider with just 42 days before the presidential election.

If you don't know if you're registered, find out at by selecting your state and entering your name and location.

"We are putting in voter registrations as fast as we get them," Adams County Clerk Georgia Volm said.

The November election is weeks away, but county clerks are already preparing for the early rush of voters.

"The last presidential election, we had a 72 percent turnout, which was really good for us. Normally, we'll run 25 to 30 percent in a normal election," Marion County Clerk Dornberger said.

"Seems like we had a 70 percent turnout or higher four years ago. So, I'm anticipating a lot of voters this year," Volm said.

The newest trend across the country is early voting, with about a third of registered voters expected to check in their ballots before the Nov. 6 election.

"We had a lot of early voters 4 years ago. We did have lines out the door. So, we're going to try and make arrangements because it's becoming more and more popular to get people through faster, so they're not waiting outside in what could be cold weather.It'll be interesting," Volm said.

If you have yet to register to vote, there's still time. You'll need a form of identification with your current address.

"A lot of people may have moved since the last time they voted or got married and changed their name. If they can come in and get that changed prior to the election, that's good. That will solve anything on election day as to where they should be voting," Dornberger said.

Missouri residents can register to vote up until Oct. 10. Illinois residents have until the 9th. And Iowa voters can register to vote until Oct. 27. If you do not register by those dates, some offices will allow you to come in and register with the requirement that you bring ID and vote at the same time.

If voting absentee, you must have your ballot in the mail by Nov. 5.

"We have to receive it in here on election day for it to count," Dornberger said.

In Illinois, early voting will come a bit later this year beginning Oct. 22 and going through Nov. 3.

Early voting for Iowa residents begins Thursday, Sept. 27.

While Missouri does not have early voting, absentee ballots became available Tuesday, Sept. 25.

An issue on the November ballot will ask Illinois voters if they want to ammend the state constitution, and the issue has taken precedence over the presidential candidates.

The proposal is designed to make it harder for state and local governments to sweeten the public-sector pensions.

The question on the ballot asks whether a three-fifths vote should be required when governing bodies want to increase employee retirement plans.

This would include school districts, city councils, lawmakers and government officials.

"It's probably a result of some of the concerns about pension plans in the state of Illinois right now and who's going to fund them and pay for them. So, it is an amendment to our Constitution," Volm said.

This proposal comes at a time when Governor Pat Quinn and the General Assembly are deadlocked on how to resolve an $83 billion gap in the state's pension funding.

Meanwhile, the history of constitutional amendments shows voter approval is not guaranteed.

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