CHICAGO — Voters have destroyed Chicago’s records for mail-in and early voting.
Mail-in voting has been particularly popular this year: More than 401,000 mail-in ballots have been cast as of Sunday night, more than quadrupling the prior record of 94,000 mail-in ballots cast during the 2016 presidential election.
More than 336,000 have voted early, also breaking the previous record of 325,000 early votes cast during the 2016 presidential election.
Those numbers will climb even higher as more mail-in ballots come in and people continue early voting Monday, election officials say.
“Early turnout has been incredible, and we are so excited so many Chicagoans are exercising their right to vote,” Marisel Hernandez, chair of the Chicago Board of Elections, said during a Monday morning news conference. “We have shattered our previous vote-by-mail record, and the board is proud that so many Chicagoans have decided to utilize this safe and convenient voting method.”
Chicagoans have been urged to vote by mail or vote early this election due to the coronavirus pandemic. A record number of 507,000 people applied to vote by mail, meaning about 80 percent of those who wanted to vote by mail have cast a ballot that way.
People who applied to vote by mail but haven’t submitted their ballot yet are highly encouraged at this point to submit their ballot at a dropoff box rather than mail it in to ensure it’s counted on time. There are dropoff boxes at all 51 early voting sites Monday and Tuesday, and there will be dropoff boxes at the United Center, Sox Park and Wrigley Field on Tuesday.
Early voting will continue through Monday at sites across the city.
On Tuesday — which is Election Day — people will be able to vote in person at their assigned polling place. You can look up your polling place online.
Those who wish to vote by mail Tuesday are advised to take their completed mail-in ballot to a dropoff box at an early voting site or at the United Center, Sox Park or Wrigley Field. There will not be dropoff boxes at regular polling places.
People who applied to vote by mail but never got a ballot can go to an early voting site Monday and sign an affidavit to vote in person. Or, on Tuesday, those people can go to their regular polling place and can fill out a provisional ballot.
“Encourage your neighbors, your family members to come out and vote,” Hernandez said. “It’s so important for everyone to exercise this most sacred right.”
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