1.8 million ballots cast statewide bringing state closer to a ‘fairly clear picture’ of results on election night

1.8 million ballots cast statewide bringing state closer to a ‘fairly clear picture’ of results on election night

As of Friday morning, 161,294 people had voted early in person in Chicago. | Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file

Election officials have urged residents to cast ballots early or by mail to avoid crowded Election Day polling places amid COVID-19 concerns.

Over 1.8 million Illinois residents have cast ballots in some way 11 days before what some have dubbed the nation’s most important election in its history.

As of Friday morning, 1,045,381 voters from across the state had voted by mail — and that’s less than half the 2,310,132 requests for ballots.

Another 760,291 people have cast ballots in person at early voting sites across Illinois. In Chicago, 271,986 people have returned their mail ballots while 161,294 have voted early in the city.

Matt Dietrich, a spokesman for the state’s board of elections, called the early returns “pretty remarkable” considering Election Day is a little over a week away.

“I think what it says is that we should have a fairly clear picture of what the final count will be on election night, but, again, that really depends on how many of the 1.25 million ballots … are sent back … prior to Election Day to be processed,” Dietrich said.

Dietrich said he’s optimistic the “pattern of early returns will continue … but who knows?”

He expects an uptick in people requesting a mail ballot between now and Thursday since “there are always people on the fence” about whether to vote in person or by mail.

Election officials at the city and state levels have urged residents to cast their ballots early or by mail if possible to avoid crowded Election Day polling places amid COVID-19 concerns.

The city dropped about 245,000 ballots in the mail in late September, which was the start of election authorities around the state sending out ballots to those who requested them.

Voters can change their minds and vote in person. A voter who decides not to use their vote-by-mail ballot needs to bring it with them to an early voting site or Election Day polling place and exchange for a regular ballot.

Category Latest Posts