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As Lake County and the Lake County Clerk’s Office have been deeply involved in preparing for what is expected to be a healthy turnout for the November 8 Election, the Courts have interjected a critical new development that may prohibit in-precinct Election Day registration.
On Tuesday, September 27, the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, responded to a federal lawsuit which challenged the Illinois law allowing counties with a population of 100,000 or more to conduct registration (along with voting) in every precinct polling site on Election Day. The Court found that this provision created a two-tiered system impacting the fundamental right to vote, favoring those individuals who happen to live in more densely populated counties. As a result, the Court granted the requested preliminary injunction which prohibits in-precinct Election Day registration in counties with a population in excess of 100,000.
The Illinois Attorney General’s Office has filed an appeal. At this point, it is impossible to predict the outcome or the time estimate for a decision. In the meantime, the Lake County Clerk’s Office assures that GRACE REGISTRATION AND VOTING WILL STILL OCCUR IN ALL 14 EARLY VOTING SITES, beginning October 24 and continuing through 7:00 P.M. on November 7. Check the website for a list of all Early Voting site locations/times.If the decision is upheld on appeal and the injunction remains, there will still be an Election Day Registration (and voting) option – IT WILL BE HELD IN THE LAKE COUNTY CLERK’S OFFICE, 18 N. County Street, Waukegan. If the injunction is removed, voting and registration will resume as originally planned in all Election Day voting sites on Tuesday, November 8.