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Didn’t Get Your Mail-In Ballot On Time? Go Vote In Person, Elections Board Says

If you don't have a ballot, you need to vote in person. Yes, even if you requested a ballot before the March 12 deadline.

Voters lined up — with a safe distance between them — at a North Side polling place Tuesday morning.
Jon Hansen
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CHICAGO — Did you order a mail-in ballot last week and it’s still not in your mailbox?

You can still vote in person, at your polling place.

If you receive your ballot during the day Tuesday, you can still send it off — as long as it’s postmarked by midnight tonight.

Some polling places have been moved due to coronavirus precautions. To find your polling place, click here. For our full voting guide, click here.

RELATED: Voting In Chicago 2020: Here’s Everything You Need To Know For Election Day

A staffer at the Board of Elections Commission said Tuesday that polling locations are slow.

“We’re just not seeing a lot of people at their voting precinct,” the staffer said.

At each precinct, elections staff are being asked to wipe down voting screens and offer wipes and sanitizers, the staffer said.

If it makes them feel more comfortable, voters can bring their own felt tip or sharpie marker. You cannot vote with a ballpoint pen.

Learn more online.

RELATED: Coronavirus In Chicago: Will Illinois Voters Show Up On The Weirdest Election Day Ever?

Lauren Seegers, a resident of Humboldt Park, requested a mail-in ballot last week.

Seegers’ parents, who live in Oak Park, and a few friends who live in Norwood Park and Humboldt Park did the same.

But by 8 p.m. Monday night, neither Seeger nor her parents or friends received their ballots.

When she called the Board of Elections Commission, she said a staffer told her she should have requested the ballot “two to three months ago” and that the U.S. Postal Service was to blame for the hangup.

“It’s like living in the twilight zone in 2020,” she said.

Because Election Day lines are typically long, Seeger worried about standing shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers. She is practicing social distancing as she is worried she could be a carrier for coronavirus.

RELATED: 12 New Coronavirus Cases Recorded In Illinois, Bringing State’s Total To 105

She also worried about her parents, who are in their mid-60s. Will they contract the virus if they show up to vote?

Seeger, who said she’s voted in every election since she turned 18, said Tuesday morning she’s not sure if she will vote at all.

“If there aren’t many people there, I suppose we’ll chance it and vote,” she said. “But it it’s crowded, we’re going to forego it. I feel heartbroken.”

On Tuesday, voters will make decisions on who will be the Democratic nominee for the presidency and Cook County state’s attorney, and they’ll elect local judges, among other posts.

“Democracy must continue,” Gov. JB Pritzker said Sunday. “We have to elect leaders even in less-than-ideal circumstances.”

Chicagoans will also have to contend with Tuesday being the first day all schools are closed and restaurants and bars are shuttered. Some eateries will still offer curbside pickup, delivery and drive-thru services, but others have shut down altogether.

RELATED: Think You Might Have Coronavirus? Here’s What To Do

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.

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