Illinois ranked as one of the easiest states to cast a ballot

Illinois ranked one of the easiest states to cast a ballot at.

Voting in Sangamon County goes very quickly and that has some saying there is no excuse to not vote in the upcoming election.

"It's pretty easy. I like how they're doing it, especially as close as I am to the polling place," Owner of Honey Creek Farm Tressa Hoffman said.

Quick lines and an easy system are something Sangamon County has worked on in order to keep its voting system running smoothly.

"We've worked very hard from the statewide level to the local level to find efficiencies. Not only are we doing more now in the voter registration side, there's really no more excuses anymore in Illinois," Sangamon County Clerk Don Gray said.

The changes are something local voters have taken notice of and are hoping the easy access to voting will encourage more to do so.

"It will give them more of an advantage to vote," Smart Natured Employee Korissa Tate said.

Illinois was recently ranked 12th overall for easiest access for casting a ballot.

The ranking comes as a result of research that happened over six election cycles.

Those conducting the study use a combination of several factors, one of those being access to registering.

"This research looks at 33 different state laws ranging from the registration process, registration deadlines, specifics about early registration, same-day registration, same-day registration at the polling station," NIU Professor and Researcher Scot Schraufnagel said.

Illinois has plenty of opportunity for registration for voters in the state.

"You know, you can register in-person at the office, you can register online, you can register actually when registration closes in office and cast a ballot and you can register to vote in polling places on election day and still vote," Gray said.

To make sure everyone has the chance to make their voice heard.

"As a farmer, it's pretty tough but I plan to vote. I have a few opinions," Hoffman said.

Illinois is tied for 12th with Minnesota and those who did the research said the state's ranking has vastly improved over the six elections they have evaluated.

According to data from non-profit-vote.org, the top five states for voting in the 2016 election were: Minnesota, Maine, New Hampshire, Colorado and Wisconsin.

The five states with the lowest turnout were: Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Hawaii.

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