Voting process intended to be convenient

Staff Writer
Geneseo Republic
Henry County Courthouse from a hot-air balloon

When it comes to voting in the Nov. 2 general election, Henry County Clerk Barbara Link wants the process to be as convenient as possible.

In-person absentee voting is underway at the county clerk’s office in Cambridge. Voters may cast a ballot between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at the office.

“It used to be you had to be out-of-town or working as an election judge to be allowed to vote absentee, but a change in the law means you don’t need a reason to vote absentee now,” said Link. “It’s all about making it more convenient for the voter.”

If a voter wishes to cast an absentee ballot but doesn’t have time to do so in person in Cambridge, a mail-in ballot can be requested.

Mail-in absentee ballots can be obtained by contacting the county clerk’s office at (309)?937-3575 or by visiting the county Web site at

Later in the month, early voting also will be offered. “Early voting is almost like absentee voting, except when you absentee vote, we put your ballot in a sealed envelope. With early voting, you can put your ballot directly into the machine as you would on election day,” explained Link.

All absentee ballots collected remain sealed until election night, she said.

On election day itself, Henry County has 52 polling locations, one in each of the county’s precincts.

For elderly or handicapped voters who may have difficulty entering a polling site, car-side voting is allowed.

“In those cases, two election judges — one from each party — will take a ballot to the car for a voter,” explained Link.

“We also have a group of election judges who go to the registered nursing homes in the county so residents can vote,” said Link.

The county clerk said she tries to have five election judges at each precinct site.

“I have the best election judges in the world. Working as an election judge is more than just sitting at a table. It’s a job. They’re responsible for getting people in and out of a polling location all day and completing paperwork that goes with the election,” she said.

“I have my veteran judges, and I absolutely rely on them, but I also have new judges as well. There is an application on the Web site for those who’d like to go through the training and certification to become an election judge,” said Link.

Henry County has 36,000 to 37,000 registered voters, but Link hopes that number will increase before the Nov. 2 election.