Chicago and Cook County election officials launched early voting Jan. 11, which will continue daily through Jan. 28 for the Feb. 2 Primary Election.
"Voters don't need a reason or excuse to use Early Voting. They do need a government-issued photo ID," said Chicago Election Board Chairman Langdon D. Neal. "Early Voting lets people vote when and where they want, without risking a scheduling problem or a blizzard on Election Day."
Cook County Clerk David Orr noted how voters have warmly embraced Early Voting since it began four years ago.
"From 2006 to 2008, participation in Early Voting increased nearly tenfold, and Chicago and suburban Cook County led the state in Early Voting for the Presidential Election," Orr said. "Those are clear signs Early Voting's convenience resonates with voters."
During Early Voting, suburban Cook County voters may use any of 42 suburban Cook County sites, plus the County Clerk's Office at 69 W. Washington Street in Chicago. Chicago voters may use any of the 50 ward sites plus the Election Board's site at 69 W. Washington Street. All city and suburban sites are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. A limited number of sites (three in the city and nine in the suburbs) also offer Sunday hours.
Suburban Cook voters may use any suburban site, plus the downtown Chicago site, regardless of where they live. Chicago voters may use any city Early Voting site regardless of their home addresses. Lists of sites and hours are available at cookcountyclerk.com and chicagoelections.com.
Early Voting was first introduced in Illinois in the 2006 Primary Election. Since then, the percentage of ballots cast during Early Voting has grown steadily.
EARLY VOTING HISTORY
Suburban Cook County
- March 2006 Primary: 15,609 of 345,970 ballots (4.49% of total turnout)
November 2006 General Election : 32,903 of 680,696 (4.85% of total turnout)
February 2007 Consolidated Election: 345 of 14,855 (2.32% of total turnout)
April 2007 Consolidated Election: 8,205 of 236,223 (3.47% of total turnout)
February 2008 Primary: 51,116 of 585,449 (8.73% of total turnout)
November 2008 General Election: 226,084 of 1,056,242 (21.4% of total turnout)
2006 Primary: 14,437 of 416,303 ballots (3.47% of total turnout)
2006 General: 24,858 of 670,222 (3.71% of total turnout)
2007 Municipal Election: 23,759 of 465,706 (5.10% of total turnout)
2007 Aldermanic Run-Offs: 8,061 of 96,052 (8.39% of total turnout)
2008 Primary: 81,690 of 689,120 (11.85% of total turnout)
2008 General Election: 260,378 of 1,105,998 (23.54% of total turnout)
In a primary election, voters can vote for candidates of one party only. There are three established political parties in Illinois: Republican, Democratic and Green party. When applying for an absentee ballot, you must indicate your party preference. Non-partisan ballots list referenda, if any, but not contests for party nominations.
Voters in this primary election will nominate candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, comptroller, U.S. Senate, representatives in Congress, state senators and representatives in the General Assembly, certain county offices and judges. Also, some political party officials will be elected.
Left to right: Chicago Board of Election Commissioner Marisel A. Hernandez, Clerk Orr, Chairman Neal
Clerk Orr casts his ballot.