CHICAGO (CBS) — Early voting kicked off in downtown Chicago this morning, with many people eager to cast their ballots.
The Loop Super Site at 191 N. Clark St. is the only early voting site open until Oct. 14, when 50 ward sites will open.
Turnout was incredible on Thursday, with many voters lined up as early as 6 a.m., more than two hours before the Loop Super Site opened at 8:30 a.m. It wasn’t long before the line to vote stretched for blocks.
Early voting just kicked off in Chicago. We’re at the Loop Super Site. There’s already a long line.
Doors opened at 8:30, but some have been out here since 6am.
— Mugo Odigwe (@MugoOdigwe) October 1, 2020
Voters waiting in line said COVID-19 or not, voting this year is too important to ignore.
“I have an obligation to do this today. I am off work, nothing to do. So, hey, why not?” Vivian Springfield said.
Despite the chilly temperatures, Springfield wasn’t fazed, donning a coat and a sequined mask.
“Gloves and everything, baby. I am ready,” she said.
Springfield was among the voters lined up at 6 a.m.
Jane Bushwaller and her husband, Bob, showed up at 7 a.m.
“We would have stood out here for 12 hours just to get the opportunity,” Bob said.
Of course we can’t talk about voting — which typically involves a crowd of people lining up – without discussing the one thing some may be thinking of: safety amid the pandemic.
Inside the Loop Super Site, signs have been posted encouraging people to stay six feet apart. Hand sanitizer is available on the table next to election judges.
Then there are the voting booths. Election officials said they typically have 100 stations at the Loop Super Site, but they had to cut it down to 54 this fall to ensure social distancing.
Either way, some Chicagoans said they weren’t going to let anything stop them from showing up today.
“We all have to do our part, and if everybody votes, then everybody gets heard, and nobody can complain,” Jane Bushwaller said.
“We didn’t get that right for a very long time, so that’s why I’m here, for my grandbabies,” Springfield said.
The Loop Super Site will be open through Election Day; Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day.
On Oct. 14, early voting starts at 50 ward sites, which will be open for the same hours as the Super Site.