Voting that works for you!
Vote centers are being used nationwide to make voting more accessible, convenient, and efficient.
Champaign County voters have demonstrated they want vote centers through the voting trends of the last 10 years. In 2020, voting in-person on election day was the least used form of voting. Voting by mail and voting early were the preferred choices and now the continuing vote by list is available in Illinois. Sign up once for vote by mail and you will automatically be sent a ballot for every election you are eligible to vote in. The regular vote by mail list still exists if you prefer to sign up for vote by mail one election at a time.
A vote center is a polling place that any registered or eligible to be registered voter in Champaign County can use. The use of vote centers is partnered with the expansion of vote by mail because the more people voting by mail, the fewer people we have physically using polling places. This creates a very expensive voting system for fewer and fewer voters. This is not a responsible or necessary use of taxpayer money.
Vote centers allow for a fiscally responsible way to provide in-person voting for those that want it while expanding vote by mail access to voters requesting it. Vote centers also provide an opportunity for elections to be equally accessible to voters of all abilities. By focusing on a set number of vote centers the Clerk's Office can provide better training and resources to election judges.
In addition to all vote centers being available for all voters in Champaign County, vote centers will offer a more flexible and convenient voting opportunity. This applies to all areas of the county. A single day of voting doesn't work for the schedules of most voters anymore and vote centers are a way to increase access, equity, and flexibility for all voters.
In the vote center model, the majority of sites will open before Election Day for early voting. Some will be open for 14 days, some 3 days, and a few more for 1 day. When the early voting schedule is set, you will be able to find it here.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is voting at a vote center different?
Not at all. It is the same process as voting at any precinct-based polling location.
- How will a vote center have the right ballot for me?
All vote centers will print ballots on demand as voters are checked in. The Clerk's Office tested this in the 2021 Consolidated Primary and General and it worked very well. It also significantly reduces the paper waste from an election because we are no longer printing large quantities of ballots for the polling places.
- Who will the election judges be at vote centers?
The Clerk's Office will utilize the same procedure for election judges, both county parties submit their judge lists to the Clerk's Office and additional judges sign up directly with the Clerk's Office. Both parties will be represented as election judges at vote centers, as they would be at precinct-based polling locations.