Campaign signs outside the early voting site at the Civic Center.

They could have waited until Nov. 8 to vote on Election Day itself.

Or they could have mailed in their ballot from home.

But several of those who voted early and in person at the Morton Civic Center on Monday said this was simply a convenient day to fulfill what they saw as their duty as citizens.

“I always vote,” said John Timm, after casting his ballot on the day that early, in person voting began.

Susan Barrett-Kelly and her husband Peter Kelly are also regular voters.

Barrett-Kelly said the biggest motivation for her this year is that “democracy is at risk.”

With Evanston an overwhelmingly blue community, Christian Sorenson, of the Democratic Party of Evanston, found many sympathetic individuals as he passed out the DPOE’s sample ballot.

Christian Sorenson, of the Democratic Party of Evanston, hands out a sample ballot.

Sorenson said the first day of early voting saw a “very steady” number showing up, over 300, he was told by a poll worker, by mid-afternoon.

“Both parties are sick of each other. There’s not a lot of common ground,” Sorenson noted.

“People are motivated to come out for their team,” he added.

The gubernatorial race between incumbent Democrat J.B. Pritzker and Republican challenger Darren Bailey has been particularly nasty.

An Evanston-specific ballot issue, changing to a ranked-choice system of voting for municipal offices, has been fairly low key.

While the Civic Center is the only early, in-person voting site in Evanston, the County Clerk’s office says there are more than 50 such sites countywide, where any suburban county resident can vote in advance of Election Day.

On Nov. 8, Election Day, voters must cast ballots at their own individual precincts.

More information about on early voting, getting a mail-in ballot, or other election issues is available on the County Clerk’s website.

Update 9 a.m. 10/25/22: The Cook County Clerk’s office says 505 people voted at the Civic Center on Monday, the first day of in-person early voting.

That’s less than the 620 who cast ballots at the Civic Center on the first day of early voting in the last gubernatorial election four years ago.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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