Franklin County Election Office
The Franklin County Election Office is located on the first floor of the Franklin County Government Campbell Building – 901 Public Square, Benton, Illinois 62812.
Kevin Wilson, County Clerk
We are open Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Weekend office hours may be established on Saturdays prior to an election.
Absentee Voting, Grace & Early
Recent changes in Illinois law make it easier than ever to vote by absentee ballot. You no longer need a reason or excuse to vote absentee. You must complete the proper absentee ballot request form and return it to the County Clerk’s Election office. Once your application is received and your voter registration status verified, you will be mailed a ballot to the address indicated on the application (your permanent address or another address). You must mark your ballot in secret and return the ballot by mail. The returned ballot must be postmarked prior to Election Day and received no later than the 14th day after the election.
Absentee voting may be done by individuals who are unable to make it to their polling place on the day of election, yet still wish to exercise their right to vote. Absentee voting may be done in 2 different ways. You may request a mailed absentee ballot. Or you may come into the County Clerk’s Election Office and vote absentee in-person. Absentee voting takes place in a larger time frame than early voting. Due to recent changes in Illinois law, an excuse or reason is no longer needed.
Grace Period voting allows people who have never registered to vote of failed to change their address or voting information to make these changes after the normal deadline. Grace Period voters must register or update their information only in the County Clerk’s Election office. The voter must then cast their ballot at this time. A grace Period registrant may not vote in the polling place on Election Day.
Early Voting allows all registered voters to cast their ballot prior to Election Day by voting at pre-designated sites named by the County Clerk. Early Voting is aimed at making voting more convenient and accessible to all citizens. Early voters must be registered voters with a valid picture ID showing their current voter registration address. No excuse or reason is necessary to take advantage of Early Voting.
Thanks to the new Federal MOVE Act, it is now easier than ever for military families and overseas citizens to vote. Click here to access the Federal Voting Assistance Program site, where you can complete, print and sign a downloadable registration and absentee ballot request form.
Illinois Voter Information
Polling Place Hours – 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Instructions for First Time Voters Who Registered by Mail
If you register by mail, you must vote in person the first time, either at the polling place, in-person absentee or early voting, unless you submit with your mail-in registration form your driver license number or state ID number, the last four digits of your social security number, or one of the forms of ID listed below. Voters voting under the provisions of UOCAVA and the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act do not have to vote in person for the first time after having registered by mail. (HAVA 303[b][c]).
- A current and valid photo identification
- Utility bill
- Bank statement
- Government check
- Lease or contract for residence
- Student ID & mail addressed to voter’s residence
- Government document
The above listed forms of ID must show your name and address and must be presented to the election officials before being permitted to vote. If you do not present a required form of identification either at the time of submitting your mail-in registration or at the time of voting, you may vote a Provisional Ballot.
- Voters whose names do not appear on the poll list, or are unable to comply with the identification requirements for mail-in registrants, are entitled to vote by provisional ballot if they declare they are registered to vote in the jurisdiction and eligible to vote in the election.
- Voters who vote by provisional ballot are entitled to written information describing how they may learn, through a free access system, whether their provisional ballot was counted by election officials, and if it was not counted, why not.
- Voters who vote after the established time for polls to close due to a court order requiring the polls to remain open for extended hours will have to vote by provisional ballot (unless those voters were in line at the time polls closed).
- Voters whose voting status has been challenged by an election judge, a pollwatcher, or any legal voter and that challenge has been sustained by a majority of the election judges may vote provisionally.
- Voters who are registered to vote and who have moved within their election authority’s jurisdiction more than 30 days before an election for federal office may vote in that election (for federal offices) under the failsafe procedures set forth in NVRA. Such voters must vote in the polling place for the residence from which the voter most recently registered even if they did not advise the election authority of the move.
- Voters who have submitted to the appropriate election authority (either in-person or by mail) their completed registration application by the close of registration as permitted by state law, and such registration application has been determined to be valid by the election authority, are entitled to be registered and vote in that election.
- Voters are entitled to notice of the disposition of their voter registration application.
- Voters who are otherwise qualified to vote may be entitled to register and vote absentee in an election for if they are in the military or are residing overseas.
- Voters in jurisdictions with a statutorily-specified minimum number of voters who speak a primary language other than English may be entitled to receive a written ballot or other election materials or assistance in a language other than English.
- Voters who require assistance in voting due to blindness, disability or inability to read or write may receive assistance from a person of the voter’s choice other than the voter’s employer or union (or agent thereof).
- Voters who are confined or detained in a jail or prison pending a trial are not disqualified from voting.
- Jurisdictions must not apply standards or practices which deny or abridge the right to vote in violation of the U.S. or Illinois Constitution (denial on the bases of race, religion, gender, etc.).
- Jurisdictions must take steps to make the registration and voting process accessible to the elderly and to individuals with disabilities.
- Persons must not intimidate, threaten or coerce any other person for registering or voting; for urging or aiding persons in registering or voting; for purposes of interfering or influencing how a person chooses to vote; or for purposes of preventing a person from voting.
- Election officials must not unlawfully fail or refuse to permit a person to vote who is entitled to vote and must not refuse to tabulate, count and report such person’s vote.
- Election officials must retain and preserve for 22 months after any election that includes a federal candidate all records and papers relating to registration and voting in that election.
Prohibited Acts of Fraud and Misrepresentation
- Persons must not make any false statement or falsely claim that they are citizens of the United States in order to register or vote in any Federal, State, or local election.
- Persons must not vote more than once in any election (note: this does not include voting a replacement ballot after a spoiled ballot was invalidated).
- Persons must not procure or submit materially false, fraudulent or fictitious voter registration applications in any election.
- Persons must not submit false information as to name, address or period of residence in a voting district for the purpose of establishing eligibility to register or vote in any election.
- Persons must not procure, cast or tabulate materially false, fraudulent or fictitious ballots in any election.
- Persons must not pay, offer to pay or accept payment for voting, registering to vote, withholding their vote, or voting for or against any candidate in any election.
Violation of Voting Rights
- If you have witnessed efforts to commit any kind of fraud or corruption in the voting process, you may report this to your local United States Attorney’s Office, the nearest office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Illinois State Board of Elections complaint hotline at 1-866-513-1121, the Illinois Attorney General’s office or the office of your election authority.
- The administrative complaint procedure applies to alleged violations of Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002. Any alleged violation(s) of Title III that have occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur may be reported to the IL State Board of Elections. Alleged violations under Title III include, but are not limited to, voting systems standards, accessibility for those persons with disabilities, and voter registration.
- If you have witnessed actual or attempted acts of discrimination or intimidation in the voting process, you may report this to the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice at 1-800-253-3931
Registering To Vote
Those who meet the following requirements may register to vote:
- You must be a citizen of the United States.
- You must be 18 years of age on or before the date of the General election. (11/4/ 2014)
- You must reside in your precinct for at least 30 days prior to an election.
The following is required to be registered to vote:
- Two forms of identification, with one showing your current residence address.
- One form of identification must be a permanent residence, such as a driver’s license, a hunting or fishing license, a student identification, or a copy of a piece of mail delivered to you at your residence. Voter registration deadlines.
- Voter registrations are accepted year-round, except during the 27 days prior to any election when voter registration is closed. Deadlines are publicized prior to every election. Those who are unregistered after the usual deadline may be able to take advantage of Grace Period Voter registration. Contact the County Clerk’s Election office for more information.
Ways to register in Franklin County
You may register to vote in person by stopping by the County Clerk’s office during regular business hours.
You may also register at the following locations in Franklin County:
- Secretary of State’s Driver Services Facility in Benton.
- Franklin County Election Office, 202 West Main in Benton.
- Department of Human Services office in Benton.
- You may also register in-person with a deputy registrar or precinct committeeman of either political party.
- You may also download a voter registration form on-line, complete it and mail to the County Clerk’s office.
- When registering by mail you must vote in person the first time either at your polling place or by casting an absentee ballot in the County Clerk’s Election Office. Please read all instructions carefully and print legibly.
If you change your address…
If you have moved from one address in Franklin County to another address in Franklin County, you need to notify the County Clerk’s Election Office of your new address.
You can notify our office by:
- Coming into our office and completing an address change form.
- Mailing us, on a plain piece of paper, your old address, your new address, and your phone number. We will also need your signature on the request.
- Completing and mailing the back of your old voter registration card with your new home information and signature.
Check My Registration
You can now check your Franklin County voter registration status on-line. Enter your full first and last name as it appears on your voter registration card. If you are a registered voter, you will also be given the address of your precinct polling place.
Once your registration is established, you may also find the districts you reside in. Enter your street number and select your street/road name from the drop-down list. There may be several variations of a street or road name so check other possible choices if you get an error message.
Please note: This service is maintained by the Illinois State Board of Elections and is based on information transmitted by the local election authorities. The Franklin County Clerk’s office does not guarantee the accuracy of the information presented. If you experience problems, please contact the Franklin County Clerk’s Election office to confirm your registration status.
Upcoming Election Info
Elections in Illinois are held on the following schedule:
- General Primary Election is held the third Tuesday in March.
- General Election is held the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
- Consolidated Election is generally held the first Tuesday in the month of April.
Click on the following links for information about the next election. Most links will be current approximately 60 days prior to each election.
You can also find additional information about state candidates, campaign finance information and voter guides at the Illinois State Board of Elections:
The following is a list of all current polling places in Franklin County. If you’re not sure of your precinct, check your voter registration card. New Voter I.D. cards were mailed June, 21 2015. You can also use the “Check My Registration” feature to find your precinct and polling place if you are registered.
Precinct Committeemen are provided by Illinois Election Code and are elected every two years by members of their political party in the General Primary Election. Democratic and Republican Party committeemen may be elected in each of the County’s 35 voting precincts.
Collectively, all the committeemen in each political party make up the party’s Central Committee. By law, all committeemen must elect a chairman a few days after the Primary even-numbered years. The chairman sets direction for the party and may fill vacancies among precinct committeemen.
Precinct Committeemen are given statutory authority to appoint the Judges of Election for their political party in their precinct. If you wish to become a Judge of Election, contact the Precinct Committeeman for your political party in your precinct, your political party Chairman or the County Clerk’s Election Office. (439-3403)
Precinct Committeemen, working with their party’s Central Committee, are the grass-roots base for the political party’s activities. They help their party’s candidates, organize fund-raisers, and may help introducing candidates to voters in their precinct. Precinct committeemen are usually a good source of information about their party’s candidates.
Precinct committeemen may also serve as Deputy Registrars, meaning they can register voters anywhere in the County. Precinct Committeemen receive no salary.
Click on the downloads below to access the list of Precinct Committeemen: