Tazewell County to make polling place handicap accessible through grant

Local News

TAZEWELL COUNTY, Ill. (WMBD) — Two grants are creating conditions for everyone to have the ability to vote in person.

Thursday morning, July 1, Tazewell County Clerk John Ackerman announced two new construction projects to the McKenzie Building in Pekin.

The clerk’s office was awarded two grants for a total of $91,250. The grants are part of the Federal Polling Place Accessibility Grant by the Illinois State Board of Elections.

The projects will include improving handicap accessibility and parking at the McKenzie Building, which is home to the County Clerk and County Treasurer’s offices. The building is also a polling location.

“One of our handicap spots is in the back of the building, but that door is not handicap accessible,” Ackerman said. “Individuals previously had to walk around the building to be able to come to the front door here to be able to use it.”

Ackerman said the purpose of the grant is to increase polling place accessibility. Ackerman said this will give every voter the opportunity to vote in person.

“If we see somebody struggling to get to our office, it’s not something we take– it breaks our heart. It’s not what we want to see,” Ackerman said. “We want to make it easy for the public to access our offices. These are their offices, not ours. They’re open to them.”

Ackerman said the projects will be done by June 30, 2022. He also said all the funding will come from the grants and no taxpayer money will be used.

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