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Illinois Coronavirus Concerns Cause Last-Minute Polling Location Changes And Extra Safety Measures

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Peter Medlin
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Early Voting Booth in DeKalb County

Illinois residents will go to the polls to vote Tuesday. But coronavirus concerns are causing election officials to take precautions and make last-minute changes.

Counties across Illinois moved polling locations out of nursing and retirement homes. Over 150 locations were changed just in Chicago.

Others, like DeKalb County, are hesitant. DeKalb County Clerk Doug Johnson said consolidating precincts could mean more crowding at those sites.

Kane County is keeping its locations where they’re at. But election officials are trying a different solution: moving polls out of a nursing home and into its parking lot.

“Instead of inside, what we have done is we have vote-mobiles, which are precincts on wheels," said Kane County Clerk John Cunningham.

Cunningham said there's been significantly more early voting and vote-by-mail this year.

“I’d encourage people to go, maybe who come in late, to vote earlier and avoid the number of people that be in the crowd to try to keep the numbers down as much as we can," he said.

Election officials hope fear of the coronavirus COVID-19 doesn’t greatly impact voter turnout.

Cunningham said voting locations will have sanitizers and election judges will be wiping down machines. And Kane County hasn’t seen an unusual number of call-offs from election judges and other volunteers.

But if you’re sick, he said not to risk potentially infecting others.

Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Visit your county clerk’s website for up-to-date information on polling location changes.