Early voting in Illinois starts Monday, Oct. 20

Mon. October 20, 2014 8:46 AM by GoPride.com News Staff

Orr: Mail voting off to strong start

Chicago, IL - Monday, Oct. 20, marks the start of Early Voting for the Nov. 4, 2014 Gubernatorial General Election. 

"Voting before election day gets more popular every election," said Cook County Clerk David Orr. "Early voting is a convenient way to cast your ballot if you prefer to vote in person. And more than ever before, voters are applying to vote by mail so they mark their ballot from home."

According to Orr, More than 33,300 voters have applied for a mail ballot this election with two weeks left before the Oct. 30 application deadline. In the 2010 general election, 83,871 suburban Cook County voters participated in early voting and 25,004 voted by mail – or 15 percent of ballots cast.

There are a few changes to early voting for this election. A new law extended early voting by one day to the Sunday before the election, lengthened the hours to 7 p.m. during the second week (Oct. 27-31), and removed ID requirements. Also new, grace period registration will be offered at all 43 early voting sites – an initiative spearheaded by Clerk Orr though not mandated.

"Whether you cast your ballot on a touch screen during early voting, or on a paper mail-in ballot, please set aside some time because the ballot is long," Orr said. "The average ballot contains dozens of contests, many referenda and a long list of retention judges."

For a complete list of early voting locations and hours, visit cookcountyclerk.com.