CHICAGO (CBS)– A record number of early voters waited hours in lines that wrapped around blocks. Some early voters waited so long Monday, they got chairs.
In the City of Chicago alone, 205,000 early ballots were cast by Monday morning. This is an 81 percent increase from the total number of early votes cast in the last midterm election in 2014.
Stephen Caliendo, a political science professor at Naperville’s North Central College, said in some states, early voting will exceed total votes cast in the 2014 midterm altogether.
Caliendo said this increase in voting reflects, “A lot of heightened anxiety on both sides of the aisle.”
Voters waiting in lines explained why they chose to vote this year. Many were motivated by issues such as healthcare or gun control.
Old Town resident, Mason Bergman said health care is a “huge issue” that influenced his decision to vote.
“It costs money to survive these days,” Bergman said.
While waiting in line, Gabriel Tyler, of the South Side, explained his top reason for voting.
“A lot of black people died for me to have the right to vote, I feel compelled by that,” he said.
The nation’s political present echoes in many voters.
Dan DeLong, of the West Loop, said he wants “the house blue,” while Ernestine Jackson of the South Side said this year she “won’t vote democratic like she used to.”
Sharon Pierce of the West Loop, said she is voting because she is not very happy with current politics and politicians.
Early voting will continue Monday until 7:30 p.m.