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Chicago, Cook County Both Set Early Voting Records

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First early voters at Museum of Broadcast Communications 360 North State Street, (Credit: Regine Schlesinger/WBBM Newsradio)

First early voters at Museum of Broadcast Communications 360 North State Street, (Credit: Regine Schlesinger/WBBM Newsradio)

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CHICAGO (CBS)– Considering voting early, before the November 6th General Election, but you’re concerned that you may run into waits of an hour or two or more? Well, like a motorist looking to avoid where traffic jams are likely to occur, Early Voters can try to avoid the most heavily trafficked Early Voting polling places by checking the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners website.

After some voters at the end of the day Saturday had to wait as long as two hours to vote, the city Board of Election Commissioners posted an Early Voting Traffic Report on its website. The “traffic report” lists, alongside each of the city’s 51 Early Voting sites, how many people have voted at each of the sites, so that those yet to vote could go to a less-traveled polling place.

The Board of Election Commissioners reported that Chicago set another record Saturday for the first week of Early Voting, with about 21,800 ballots cast for the day. Some Early Voting sites in the city could not close until 7 p.m., meaning the last person in line at 5 p.m. waited two hours before voting. For that reason, the Board of Elections put the traffic report on its website.

Since Early Voting began on October 22nd, Chicago voters have cast more than 106,000 ballots and suburban Cook County voters have cast a little under 100,000 ballots.

According to Cook County Clerk David Orr’s office, Early Voting turnout has been strong throughout Cook County. Orr’s office reports that nearly 14,000 suburban Cook County voters cast ballots Monday, setting a new record for the first day of Early Voting. The busiest Early Voting sites were the Orland Township Hall, Arlington Heights Village Hall and Matteson Village Hall. Through about 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, 96,450 suburban Cook County residents had voted early. The busiest day so far was Friday, when 17,871 votes were cast by suburban Cook County voters.

Three city and seven suburban Early Voting sites were open on Sunday. All 51 Chicago sites will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day from Monday through Saturday, November 3rd, the end of Early Voting. Suburban Cook County voters may use any of the 44 Early Voting locations or Orr’s downtown office at 69 W. Washington. The suburban Early Voting sites are also open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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