CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago and the state of Illinois have already seen record early voting and mail-in ballot numbers, and on Election Day Tuesday, the United Center will open its doors for the first time as a super site to make voting as easy as possible.
Doors open to Election Day voters at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.
But with the high turnout so far, election officials are asking for patience – as results might take some time.
In the final push to vote early before that option expired at 7 p.m. Monday, lines for the super site at 191 N. Clark St. in the Loop stretched longer than a city block and wrapped around the corner.
“I’m just trying to avoid the rush tomorrow if there’s going to be one,” early voter Autumn Clack told CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar. “I figured it would be better to get it done a day early.”
“The reason I waited to ensure that I could cast my vote in person. I didn’t want my ballot to be susceptible to any harm,” said early voter Timothy Cameron.
And voters waited up to three hours to have their voices heard at a polling location at the old Goldblatt’s Building at Chicago and Ashland avenues in West Town.
“I just pray it’s peace,” said early voter Charlesia Heard, “because it looks like hell may break out on either end.”
The United Center will play host to one of the year’s most anticipated events – not a sport, but politics. On Tuesday, the UC will open as a voting super site.
“Anxious to see what happens – and hoping whatever happens, everybody stays calm,” Clack said.
As of Monday night, 3.6 million Illinoisans had voted early – more than 1.8 million in person, and more than 1.7 million mailing in their ballots.
But 550,000 thousand ballots not yet returned – meaning it may take days or longer for the totals on issues like the Illinois graduated income tax amendment and other races.
“I think it’s important for society in general – American society – to have a confident notion as to whom our president will be unequivocally,” Cameron said.
Mail-in ballots are still going to be coming in. They can be counted until Tuesday, Nov. 17, as long as they are postmarked by Nov. 3.
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