The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The Choice Is Yours: Early Voting is at the Courthouse or by Mail-in Vote; or Vote Nov. 3rd at the Polls

by Dessa Rodeffer, The Quill

Henderson County Clerk Amanda Van Arsdale said her office has been set up for early in-person voting during courthouse hours from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. since September 24th.

Her office is also receiving ballots in the mail from Henderson County registered voters who have requested a ballot and have mailed them back to her office, "but that is not the only way you can vote," she said.


"There seems to be some confusion whether residents can go to the polls and vote as they always have, or if they must only vote by mailing in a ballot."

Amanda said, voters may go to their polling place in their precinct as they always have in the past and vote in person on November 3rd between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. and have the satisfaction of putting their ballot into the voting machine that counts them, or they can come into the courthouse and vote early Monday through Friday and put their ballots into the voting machine there.


The Courthouse will also be open for one Saturday for residents to register and/or vote on Saturday, October 31st from 8:00 a.m. until Noon, just prior to the November 3rd General Election.



If you have requested and received a ballot by mail, but decide to vote in person instead, you must bring that ballot with you and surrender it at the County Clerk's office or to the Election Judges at the polls on Election Day, even if it has been soiled or damaged. At that time, you will be issued a new ballot, and be able to cast your ballot in person.


If you requested, but never received your ballot by mail, you will need to complete an affidavit before you can cast a ballot in person.

If you have returned your vote by mail ballot, but have been informed by the County Clerk's office that they have not received your ballot as of Election Day, you will also need to fill out an affidavit before you can cast a ballot in person.

If you have received your ballot, but do not surrender it or are unable to surrender it, you must vote provisionally.


Voting provisionally means you do not put your ballot personally into the voting machine, but after you vote, the ballot is sealed in a separate envelope until two weeks after Election Day when all valid mail-in ballots have been processed.

After it has been established there has been no other ballot cast by the voter, the ballot is placed into the voting machine by the Clerk and counted.

Voters are able to go to the Illinois State Board of Elections website to track their provisional ballot as to when it is counted.


If you choose to vote by mail and have not already returned your application, Amanda suggests you get it returned as soon as possible. October 29th is the final day applications through the mail may be accepted.

Due to the virus, legislation was passed that expands the ways in which you may return a vote by mail ballot for this election only.

Vote by mail ballots postmarked on or before Election Day may be returned through the mail, or they may be delivered to the County Clerk's office personally, an authorized person may drop off the ballot for you if you complete the authorization on the ballot envelope, or it may be deposited in the dropbox outside of the front (south) door at the Courthouse.

The dropbox is secured and under 24 hour video surveillance. Ballots must be in the dropbox by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.

Mail-Ballots Must

Be Postmarked by

Nov. 3, 2020 or before

If you are returning your ballot by mail, you may take your ballot to the counter of any post office and ask that they postmark it for you to make sure it is marked with the appropriate date.

Envelopes of Mail-Ballots Must Be Signed and Dated

Amanda said another problem has come from voters failing to sign and date the envelopes when they mail-in their ballots.

So their office has to call them and the voter must make a trip to the Clerk's office and sign and date their ballot before it can be counted as the voter's official vote.


Help Everyone

Be COVID-19 Safe

Amanda's office and help are trying to be extra careful not to be exposed to the Coronavirus as it could put them in a difficult situation if someone had to be quarantined for 14 days as it is essential they all are present to run an efficient election.

Those who come into the office, it is appreciated that they wash their hands, and wear a mask. The Presidential Election is a high-profile election.

Grace Period

Registration IS Only Available at the CouRtHouse

At this time, voter registration is closed. However, Grace Period Registration is still available all the way through the closing of the polls at 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Grace period registration is only available at the office of Amanda Van Arsdale, Henderson County Clerk, located in the Henderson County Courthouse at 307 Warren Street, Oquawka on Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Saturday, October 31, 2020, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (noon).

In addition, the County Clerk's office is open 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.

Early Voting Ends

At 4:00 p.m. Nov. 2nd

at the Courthouse

Early voting will end on Monday, November 2nd at 4:00 p.m.


In-person voting at your polling place in each of the 13 precincts will be open from 6:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. on November 3rds' 2020 General Election Day.


Call the Henderson County Clerk's office in Oquawka at (309) 867-2911 for further information.

Henderson County Clerk Amanda Van Arsdale stands in front of the table where people come in to her office to vote at the courthouse. In the background at right is the voting machine where voters insert their ballot after voting.