The election commissioner or county clerk shall designate the polling places for each precinct at which the registered voters of the precinct will cast their votes. Polling places representing different precincts may be combined at a single location when potential sites cannot be found, contracts for utilizing polling sites cannot be obtained, or a potential site is not accessible to handicapped persons. When combining polling places at a single site for an election other than a special election, the election commissioner or county clerk shall clearly separate the polling places from each other and maintain separate receiving boards. When combining polling places at a single site for a special election, the election commissioner or county clerk may combine the polling places and receiving boards. Polling places shall not be changed between the statewide primary and general elections unless the election commissioner or county clerk has been authorized to make such change by the Secretary of State. If changes are authorized, the election commissioner or county clerk shall notify each state and local candidate affected by the change. Notwithstanding any other provision of the Election Act, the Secretary of State may adopt and promulgate rules and regulations, with the consent of the appropriate election commissioner or county clerk, for the establishment of polling places which may be used for voting pursuant to section 32-1041 for the twenty days preceding the day of election. Such polling places shall be in addition to the office of the election commissioner or county clerk and the polling places otherwise established pursuant to this section.