IL polls will open as scheduled Tuesday despite virus

MCDONOUGH COUNTY, Ill. (NEWS3) — The 2020 Illinois primary election is still scheduled to proceed Tuesday despite the heighten concerns and crisis surrounding the coronavirus.

McDonough County election officials said sanitary precautions are in place, but a low voter turnout is expected.

County Clerk Gretchen DeJaynes said early voting and absentee ballots combined are projected to be about 6 percent, which is around 1,000 of the 18,000 voters registered.

“The primary turnout is usually lower than the general election,” DeJaynes said. “Not only could the coronavirus concerns be a reason for a lower turnout, but also because there’s not a lot of contested races.”

DeJaynes said voters should take extra precautions when showing up to polls. She said normal precautions like covering your mouth to cough and keeping a distance from others is encouraged.

“We have added hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes, screen wipes and we’ve done a thorough cleaning at all of our voting sites,” DeJaynes said.

Officials believe the overall turnout on primary election day will be close to 20 percent. It was 32 percent during the 2018 primary. The general election turnout tends to be around 70 to 80 percent in McDonough County.

No polling locations have changed due to COVID-19. Polling places will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.