CHICAGO (CBS) —   There have been a historic number of vote-by-mail requests just from Chicago so far in the 2020 election with 450,000 jut from Chicago, but there are plenty of concerns from voters, including whether the clerk’s offices can handle those record numbers. 

A woman in the north suburbs told CBS 2 she called the county clerk’s office with concerns about her ballot and was told they have received so many mail-in ballot applications they have not been able to send them all out.     

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Like thousands of others, Laura wants to vote by mail for the first time this year.

“It just seemed like the way to do it this year,” she said.

But she is worried about getting her ballot. She got two letters from the state reminding her to apply, but she said she mailed in her application a month ago and has not heard anything since.

“That was disconcerting,” she said. “You would think that after a month’s time they would at least have record that I requested a mail-in ballot.”

But when she checks the status online she sees “not returned” and “not available.”

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“To me it’s getting a little too close for comfort,” she said.

When she called the Cook County Clerk’s Office with her concerns she said she was left with more concerns about possible delays.

“They said they have thousands of applications that have not been processed yet, not recorded yet, and they said they were just beginning that process now,” Laura said.

A spokesperson with the clerk’s office said despite the unprecedented request for mail-in ballots, there has been no delay in their distribution process, and they are mailing tens of thousands of ballots every day. The spokesperson said Laura will get her ballot.

The clerk’s officer released the following statement:

As of today, the Cook County Clerk’s Office has received more than 437,000 requests for mail ballots from voters in suburban Cook County.
Despite this unprecedented request for mail ballots, there has been no delay in the distribution process.  Our office began mailing those requested ballots in the order in which they were received on September 24.  We are mailing tens of thousands of ballots each day and will continue to do so moving forward on a rolling basis.  Many voters have already received their ballots and more will continue to do so in the coming days as the process moves forward.
Our website has extensive voting and election information at www.cookcountyclerk.com
And voters can check directly on the status of their ballot at https://www.cookcountyclerk.com/service/your-voter-information
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A board of elections spokesperson said under the law in effect for this year election authorities are required to deliver a ballot to anyone who applied by Oct. 1 no later than Oct. 6.

The board of election released this statement:

Under the law in effect for this year, election authorities are required to deliver a ballot to anyone who applied by Oct. 1 no later than Oct. 6. Beginning yesterday, they are required to mail ballots within two business days of receipt of the application:

(10 ILCS 5/2B-20)

    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2021)

    Sec. 2B-20. Changes for vote by mail official ballot mailing and processing.

    (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, an election authority shall mail official ballots to any elector requesting an official ballot no earlier than September 24, 2020. Except for electors applying under Article 20, any elector submitting an application for a vote by mail ballot on or before October 1, 2020 shall receive a ballot no later than October 6, 2020. An election authority shall mail official ballots to any elector requesting an official ballot after October 1, 2020 no later than 2 business days after receipt of the application.

All local election authorities are seeing record numbers of vote-by-mail applications. And they all have different systems for tracking the progress of your ballot request and the ballot itself.

Tara Molina