CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s a big week for voting in Chicago, as dozens of early voting sites open up across the city on Wednesday.

Election officials told CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas the opening of the sites could also be good news for mail-in voters.

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From the blue mailbox at the corner to the dropboxes at Board of Elections headquarters, mail-in voters have options. And starting Wednesday, they’ll have 50 more.

Chicago Board of Elections Chairwoman Marisel Hernandez said there will be one dropbox at each of the early voting sites opening up.

“If a voter feels uncomfortable putting it in the mail, all they have to do is go to one of our early voting sites,” Hernandez said. “There’s a separate line to drop your ballot in the dropbox.”

A total of 120,000 Chicagoans have already voted by mail – the most ever. Another 370,000 haven’t returned their mail-in ballots yet.

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The Postal Service recommends mailing your ballot by Oct. 27, one week before Election Day. The Board of Elections recommends doing it even sooner than that.

“Please return it as soon as possible,” Hernandez said. “That way, we can assure that your ballot is postmarked and can be counted.”

Whether you mail your ballot or put it in a dropbox, you should get an email update when your ballot is received and accepted.

Election officials said with so many using mail-in ballots for the first time, many could return to the method in future elections.

There is only one early voting center opening in each Chicago ward on Wednesday, along with those dropboxes. You can find the exact locations at

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The only place where you can currently vote early in person before Wednesday is the Loop Super Center at Clark and Lake streets.

Tim McNicholas