CHICAGO (CBS) — Governor JB Pritzker said the state is opening early voting sites and Illinois has seen a record number of requests for mail-in ballots for the upcoming general election.

During his COVID-19 address on Wednesday afternoon, Pritzker said while Chicago has a Super Site, more polling places will open in the coming weeks.

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“In Illinois people have been voting early in person since September 24th. Though that start date has varied by county. The city of Chicago, for example, started early voting at a central location on October 1, and that will expand to all 50 wards in Chicago next Wednesday, October 14,” Pritzker said.

The governor said people who have mail-in ballots now should send them soon.

“If you want to vote by mail, you can apply online right now. You have until October 29. But don’t wait. The state Board of Elections recommends that you apply for your ballot by October 15, if not sooner, so that your ballot can be delivered to you on time. In Illinois, your vote by mail ballot, which will arrive after you send in your application, needs to be postmarked by or on Election Day. But don’t wait. The State Board of Elections is recommending that you mark your ballot and return it as soon as possible.”

The governor added that those concerned about social distancing can vote by mail or go to an early voting site which may not be crowded before Election Day.

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“That’ll help everyone be able to keep their distance during this pandemic.” Pritzker said, who added that the state is still in need of election judges and wants those who can to do so.

“I encourage young and middle aged people who are not immunocompromised to step up and volunteer as election judges in your communities, a rule that your elderly neighbors have so often embraced as part of their civic service,” Pritzker said. “You can sign up to become an election judge by contacting your county clerk.”

The governor also addressed an issue that will be before the General Assembly: criminal justice reform. He plans to ban no-knock warrants.

“I put forward the basic principles of a criminal justice reform package and I hope that we’re going to be taking this up in the legislature,” Pritzker said. “It’s something that I’ve worked hard with the Black Caucus on, something that I know is necessary. I wish we had it in place now but, you know, November seems like we can get it done and I’m hopeful.”

RELATED: Ending Cash Bail, More Rehab Part Of Gov. Pritzker’s Criminal Justice Reform Plan.

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CBS 2 Chicago Staff