Record number of early votes and mail-in ballots reported in Chicago, suburbs

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CHICAGO — Election Day is Tuesday, but tens of millions of Americans have voted early in record numbers.

An update from the Chicago Board of Elections reported a record number of early votes and mail-in ballots are coming in.

As of Monday morning, 402,000 vote by mail ballots have been processed, though 105,000 mail-in ballots have yet to be received back from those who requested one. At one of Chicago’s 51 early voting sites, 354,000 in-person early votes have been cast.

That record number of mail-in ballots will be counted after the polls close Tuesday at 7 p.m., and merged with the tallies from the voter’s home precinct as they come in.

Polls open at 6 a.m. Tuesday. The city has 13,500 election judges on the schedule to staff locations across Chicago.

Voters aren’t taking chances during a pandemic, as across the country more than 91.5 million Americans have cast an early ballot in this election.

In the suburbs, record numbers of early voting is being reported as well.

Inside the DuPage County Board of Elections, judges are busy processing tens of thousands of mail-in ballots that have been pouring in over the last several weeks.

Voters required 212,000 mail-in ballots and so far, 156,000 have been returned. Officials said 180,000 people have voted in-person.

In the 2016 presidential election, 434,000 voters turned out.

“It looks like it’s going to be a record-breaking year,” DuPage County Clerk Jean Kaczmarek said. “But I would like this to be the new norm.”

Residents had until Oct. 29 to request to vote by mail.


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