SKOKIE, Ill. — Wednesday marked the first day of early voting in suburban Cook County, as polling places opened at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Many of the early voters are motivated by a wide range of issues, including the candidates at the top of the ballot.
“I don’t want Trump. I don’t want to see him again,” Skokie voter Rozina Khan said.
The pandemic’s impact on the Chicago area has also heavily influenced some voters, with many opting to cast mail-in ballots instead.
“Partially because of COVID concerns, hoping it would be a little less packed,” voter Umair Tarbhai said.
Polling places at the courthouses in Rolling Meadows, Skokie, Bridgeview, Maywood and Markham are open Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.
With a consequential presidential election and local issues such as the graduated income tax question on this year’s ballot, voters say it’s vital their voices are heard.
“I think it’s important to just get out to the polls as quick as possible, especially with everything in general,” voter and graduate student Davin Allen said.
Allen is a 22-year-old Skokie resident who is a graduate student at North Central College.
“A lot of the political views, racial biases as well as a lot of other things have motivated a lot of people to be more engaged,” Allen said.
Voters at suburban sites were met with temperature screenings, mask requirements, social distancing dots and “I voted” stickers.
Seymour Bynstein had a sticker on his his vest, and felt good to get the voting process over with.
“I heard so much crap going on about everything, I wanted to get it over with,” Bynstein said.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has encouraged early voting as a way to stay safe during the pandemic, as well to ensure your vote is counted.
“Choose to vote early in person and by mail to reduce the size of crowds on Election Day,” Pritzker said.
Early voting opens in various other locations, such as libraries and city halls starting October 19.
For a full list of early voting locations in Cook County, visit their website here.