"This is the first presidential election year in which we've had Early Voting, and it is a blockbuster," said Cook County Clerk David Orr. "We still have a week to go in our Early Voting period and have almost doubled our February total already," Orr said.
As of 5 p.m. today, 100,888 ballots had been cast by participants in Early Voting at the Clerk's all over suburban Cook and
at the Clerk's main office in downtown Chicago at 69 W. Washington St.
Registered voters in suburban Cook can vote at any of the Clerk's Early Voting sites by Oct. 30. Early voters must bring a government-issued photo ID.
"We also had a huge jump in our grace period registration and voting this election," Orr said. Grace period registration, which took place Oct. 8-21 in suburban Cook County, afforded residents who missed the regular registration deadline the chance to register and vote at the same time.
"With 4,129 grace period voters, we crushed our previous high of 561, which we had for the February primary," Orr said. "To accommodate the added interest of a presidential general election, we opened up our five suburban mini-centers and it paid off. Who knows how many of those thousands would have missed out otherwise?"
More than 20,000 suburban Cook voters have requested absentee ballots
with the Oct. 30 application deadline a week away.
"Our absentee ballot numbers may be a little lower this time because of the convenience of Early Voting," Clerk Orr said. "Voters are seizing the opportunity to cast a ballot anytime at any of our 44 sites during the 17-day period with no excuses or reasons required," Orr said.
Four Early Voting sites in suburban Cook have already had more than 5,000 early voters apiece: Orland Park Village Hall (6, 280), Matteson Village Hall (5,266), Wheeling Township Hall (5,112) and South Holland Village Hall (5,049).