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Voters, county clerk express importance of consolidated elections

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(WSIL) -- Tuesday is Election Day in Illinois and Missouri. County Clerks tell News 3 they're not seeing November's voter turnout.

Still, they say people are showing up.

We spoke to Jackson County Clerk Frank Byrd who says early voting turnout was minimal and they expect it to be about the same as 2019, with at least 4,600 ballots turned in.

We also talked to some voters who were pretty passionate about Tuesday's elections.

The first one says he knew a few of the candidates running and took time to research their stances. He also told News 3 he received campaign material
in the mail that inspired him to do some research and cast his vote.

The other resident News 3 talked to says some issues that are important to him are keeping SIU and the city of Carbondale thriving financially and people should realize this particular election impacts their community

Here's what they had to say about their experiences:

"I, you know, took that reach out, and said, 'you know what? Maybe I should look into that.' So if you send a flyer to my home maybe you'll get a vote," said Grant Kentala.

"It's the small things that count too the most because even though we do the big elections, we still have our own local officials. So they have to be addressed too just like how we do The White House," said Enrico Deville.

The pandemic also created changes. Some voters in Carbondale had to go to United Methodist Church because city hall is being used as a mass vaccination clinic.

Jackson County Clerk Frank Byrd says he's thankful the church opened its doors for residents to cast their ballots.

He told us he's been active on social media to let people know about the new location.

We asked him if he spoke to any voters about any high-profile races that people are looking forward to and says Grand Tower and Makanda, but all of these local elections are important.

"This election is important because these are local offices that are being filled and they affect everyone--everybody's livelihood. And everybody that's running for these offices, you should come out and vote because the polices they vote on, they affect you and your family," he said.

We also asked Byrd his thoughts on the new law Governor JB Pritzker signed about permanently establishing drop boxes and allow curbside voting across Illinois for early voting or on Election Day and he says it'll be helpful and safe for residents.

Maya Skinner

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