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CHICAGO — The city’s Board of Election Commissioners has been busy preparing for Election Day while also handling early voting and collecting Vote By Mail ballots.

Monday morning the board chair, Marisel Hernandez, held a press conference to discuss the latest vote totals in Chicago, information and deadlines ahead of Tuesday, and urge those using Vote By Mail to send in or drop off their ballots “immediately.”

According to Hernandez, as of Sunday night, there were 134,014 ballots cast through early voting. That method has overtaken mail-in ballots which reached 103,205 at that same time. This number is despite receiving more than 200,000 Vote By Mail applications, the second highest amount in Chicago’s history.

She said that nearly half of Chicago voters may have a new voting place due to the new city map and redistricting so it’s important to double-check locations.

But what about long lines at your precinct? Hernandez said that there are other options.

“On Election Day, in addition to your assigned polling place, a voter can go to any early voting site in each of the 50 wards in here in the super sight on Clark and Lake and vote,” she said.

Remember, the polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day. If locals requested a mail ballot but got too busy to actually send it off, Hernandez says it’s not too late.  

“Make sure to take it to a post office personally and ask the clerk to post-market,” she said. “An easier option is to take your vote by mail ballot and drop it off at one of our secure drop boxes.”

On Friday, Nov. 4 the board joined local law enforcement to discuss public safety plans for voting locations. At that time, it was noted current early voting numbers were comparable to the last midterm election in 2018. However, at Monday’s press conference, it appears 2022 is starting to fall below 2018 levels.

According to the board’s website, there are more than 1.5 million registered voters in the City of Chicago and the 2018 election saw a turnout of 60%.

Chicagoans can vote at any early-voting site in the city.

For more information: Board of Election Commissioners for the City of Chicago

You can watch the full press conference in the video player below: