WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Grace Period Registration Could Delay Election Results

Oct 27, 2014

It's possible not all races will be settled on Tuesday, November 4 -- depending on how Illinoisans choose to vote.

For this year only, Illinois extended grace period registration through Election Day. Typically, it ends the Saturday before the election. So voters can register or update their address and vote through election day.

A McDonough County resident casts his vote early for the November 2014 election.
Credit TSPR's Emily Boyer

But McDonough County Clerk Gretchen DeJaynes said ballots cast under grace period registration will be provisional.  

“We have 14 days to check and make sure you’re not registered somewhere else or that you did not vote somewhere else,” DeJaynes said.

That means election results could be delayed if a race is close and enough people take advantage of grace period registration.

“If this potentially ends up being a lot of voters, it very possibly could impact whether a race is called on Election Day or whether they have to wait two weeks later,” DeJaynes said.  

Voters wanting to take advantage of the grace period must present two forms of identification -- one of which must show a local address -- and be willing to register and vote during the same visit.

DeJaynes said voters can register at all early voting sites. Those sites will stay open through Election Day this year to accommodate grace period voting.  But anyone already registered will not be able to vote there and must instead go to his/her designated polling place.