Saline County Clerk Kim Buchanan announced Monday that ongoing objections to several presidential candidates are not anticipated to be resolved by the Illinois State Board of Elections in time for ballots to be prepared and voting tabulators to be programmed for the opening of "by mail" and "early voting" on Feb. 4.
The ballots and machines will be available no later than Feb. 17 – the beginning of grace period registration and voting – by which time most challenges seeking to remove candidates from the ballot should have been decided and final ballot certifications issued by the Illinois State Board of Elections.
"I have been told that the ballots may be ready before Feb. 17," said Buchanan. "But I don't plan on starting until the State Board files their ballot with our elections office."
Objections have been filed to the signatures on petitions for Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, as well as two minor candidates.
None of the objections have been resolved, according to Jim Tenuto, assistant executive director of the State Board of Elections. "They're looking at holding a meeting on Feb. 11, possibly, to see if we can resolve as many as possible," Tenuto said.
According to Buchanan, what will be the biggest factor here is having to add to the process that has already taken place to get ready for the early voting.
"By law we have to publish dates for our early voting period," Buchanan said. "Those dates have already been sent out, we will have to send out notices about the change in ballot."
Voters seeking more information about voting by mail or a schedule of early voting times and locations should email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 618-253-8197.