By Bob Uphues
The U.S. presidential election is less than three weeks away, and in-person early voting will begin at 50 locations in suburban Cook County on Monday, Oct. 19 and will continue through Monday, Nov. 2.
Once again, Brookfield Village Hall, 8820 Brookfield Ave., has been designated an early voting site.
The polling place at Brookfield Village Hall will be open to voters longer on most days this year than in past years. It will be open Monday through Friday Oct. 19-23 from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Oct. 26-30 from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; on Saturday, Oct. 24 and Oct. 31 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; on Sunday, Oct. 25 and Nov. 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and on Monday, Nov. 2 from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the lobby of Brookfield Village Hall will be open only for early voting during the two-week period beginning Oct. 19 and ending on Election Day, Nov. 3.
With past experience indicating high turnout during the next two weeks – 6,600 voters voted early in Brookfield for the 2016 presidential election -- the village hall front counter will be closed during the entirety of the voting period.
"Out of an abundance of caution we're going to close our doors, like the initial shutdown [in March]," said Assistant Village Manager George Issakoo. "Our space is so small in the lobby there's just no way for people to socially distance if we're open for business."
While village hall staff will be onsite working full-time, they will only be able to interact with residents by email or phone.
Those needing building permit applications can find them online under the "Forms" tab at brookfieldil.gov. Documents can be scanned and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Approved building permits can be mailed or emailed back to you.
Water bills can be paid online (visit the village's website for details) or can be placed in drop boxes located in the village hall parking lot and by the front door of the main fire station at 9001 Shields Ave.
The drop boxes are not for collecting mail ballots. Those must be placed in the secure drop box, which will be monitored by an election official, inside Brookfield Village Hall.
Some nearby early voting sites, in Berwyn and Stickney for example, will not be serving that purpose this year as Cook County election officials avoided places where it is not easy for voters to maintain physical distance. As a result, some new locations have been added. Other nearby early voting locations this fall include the following:
- Lyons Village Hall, 4200 Lawndale Ave.
- Cicero Community Center, 2250 S. 49th Ave.
- Cicero PSO Building, 5410 W. 34th St.
- Hodgkins Village Hall, 8990 Lyons St.
More information on early voting sites and times of operation can be found at cookcountyclerk.com/service/early-voting-locations.
Any registered suburban voter can vote early at any of the suburban early voting locations. As in past years, all early voting will be done on touch screens, because the machines are able to store every ballot style in the county. Ballots remain secret and are stored securely to be tallied on Election Day.
Voters who are already registered do not need to present an ID to vote, nor does anyone voting early need to provide a reason for doing so.
If you are not registered to vote, suburban residents can register to vote at any of the early voting sites. If you're registering for the first time or changing your address, you must present two forms of identification, one of which shows your current address.
Visit online at cookcountyclerk.com/service/when-voters-do-and-dont-need-identification-id to learn what forms of ID are acceptable.