Kane County to offer ‘vote anywhere’ for March primary

It’s also the debut of new voting machines, featuring paper ballots

Kane County voters will be able to cast ballots anywhere in the county for the March 19 primary.

Along with debuting new voting machines, the county clerk has also implemented vote-anywhere programming, as DuPage County did in 2022.

It means that even if you live in one town you can vote at a polling place elsewhere in the county.

“This makes it (voting) more accessible to people,” Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham said.

It was made possible by a change to state law in 2023. That change mandated that counties with populations greater than 500,000 had to have at least two “vote centers” on Election Day where anybody in the county could vote. Since Kane had to program machines at those centers to take voters from any precinct, it could also run that program on all its machines, according to Cunningham.

“Hopefully, this will increase the number of voters,” Cunningham said.

The new machines replace a system that was at least 18 years old. Cunningham said parts for repairs were no longer being made, and that they were used for four elections past their expected life.

Cunningham said his staff has been busy familiarizing itself with the new system, teaching 1,500 election judges, and trying to educate the approximately 324,000 voters in Kane. Clerk’s workers took machines on tour in November and December to libraries, two park district fitness centers, and even the Kane County Flea Market, to demonstrate them.

“It is an interesting challenge,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham said he has arranged with the Kane County Sheriff’s Office and the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office for increased security at polling places.

The county is using the Verity Duo paper ballot system. In-person voters’ signatures on paper ballot applications will be checked, as usual, using an electronic pollbook. They will receive a numeric code from an election judge. Voters will input this on a touchscreen, which will bring up the ballot relevant to them. They will insert a paper ballot into the machine, make their choices via the touchscreen or an accessible device, then print their vote record on the paper.

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Then, voters will insert the paper to a scanner attached to a ballot box. That scanner will record their vote, and the paper will be stored in the box.

Once polls close on March 19, the box will be taken to the clerk’s counting facility. The votes will then be downloaded and tabulated. The paper ballots will remain in storage.

DuPage County has used the machines for three elections. “It’s been going great,” deputy clerk Adam Johnson said. In the 2022 primary and general elections, about 13% of DuPage voters used the “vote anywhere” option. In the 2023 consolidated election, about 16% did so, Johnson said.

Other election news

Vote-by-mail ballots are being sent out starting Thursday. Cunningham said he has received 14,000 requests for ballots as of Wednesday. About two-thirds of them are for Democratic ballots, he said.

  A flag waves to indicate a Kane County voter has finished making selections and printed the ballot on the new machines that will be used in the March primary. Susan Sarkauskas/

From Thursday to March 1, early voting is available from 8:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the clerk’s offices at 719 S. Batavia Ave. (Route 31), Building G, Geneva, and 5 E. Downer Place, Suite F, Aurora.

Early voting expands March 4 to 25 sites. Some will be open nights and weekends. For a list, visit

Early votes and vote-by-mail ballots will be the first tabulated after the polls close March 19.

Cunningham said he is also studying development of an app that would enable voters to see how long of a wait there is to vote at a particular polling place.

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