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Lawrence Education Center

101 East Laurel
Springfield, IL 62704

Voter Outreach Program Learn & Register

September 24, 2008

This workshop was held on September 17th and presented by Brad Carlson, Voter Outreach Coordinator from the Sangamon County Clerks Office. The workshop provided an opportunity for students to get registered to vote. Information was presented on the HAV (Help American Vote Act) from 2006. This act provided funds to eliminate the old punch card and purchase new equipment. This Act was developed in response to the "hanging" or "dimpled" chad. Voting involved pushing a pin through the ballot, however if the punched hole did not go all the way through, the chosen vote could not be properly counted. This caused problems during the election Bush VS Gore and held up a final count for 45 days. After the HAV Act, voting went to a computerized method. Now due to questions regarding the computerized screen method, voting will take place on a hand marked ballot that is placed in an optical scan machine. A sample scan ballot and the scanning machine were available at the workshop. The actual voting process was discussed. The voter will sign in at the voting site. This is done to compare signatures. The voter is given a ballot, selections are marked, the ballot is placed in the optical scanner and falls into a sealed voting canister. A voting Judge oversees the process. Voting facts were presented. There are 130,000 registered voters in Sangamon County. Sangamon County is made up of 3 State Representative districts, and 2 Senate districts. The county is divided into voting precincts, there are 232 precincts made up of 800 to 1000 residents. There are 120 polling places. To register to vote you must be a U.S. Citizen, be 18 by election day, and a resident of the precinct you vote in. Absentee voting, grace period voting, early voting, and Election Day were discussed.