There were long lines in Evanston at the Civic Center for the first day of early voting in the presidential election. In all, 495 voters cast their ballots.

Across suburban Cook County there was a lot of interest in the early voting option. The County Clerk’s office reports more than 13,500 suburbanites cast their ballots today.

That’s a new record for the first day of early voting, Cook County Clerk David Orr says.

“Turnout is already impressive and I hope it keeps up until early voting ends Nov. 3,” Orr said. “We are sending extra help to the early voting sites to help handle the crowds.”

In 2008, 7,733 ballots were cast on the first day of Early Voting and more than 226,000 early votes were cast before Election Day.

However, today is more similar to Day 8 of Early Voting in 2008 because early voting is now compressed to 13 days. On Day 8 in 2008, 10,668 early votes were cast.

Updated Early Voting turnout numbers by site are available online. The busiest early voting sites were Orland Township Hall, Arlington Heights Village Hall and Matteson Village Hall.

Voters do not need an excuse to vote early, but they must provide a government-issued photo ID. Suburban Cook County voters may use any of the 44 Early Voting locations or the Clerk’s downtown office at 69 W. Washington, Chicago.

Orr also reminded voters they still have time to apply for a mail ballot. “Don’t wait until the last minute to request a mail ballot because you want enough time for your vote to count,” he said.

Voters can obtain a mail ballot application by: 

  • Downloading and printing the mail ballot application (applications are also available in Spanish, Hindi and Chinese),
  • Calling the Clerk’s office at (312) 603-0946 to request that we mail you an application, or
  • Picking up an application at any of the Clerk’s six office locations.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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