Cook County Clerk David Orr says early voting in suburban Cook County this year is up 38 percent from the last presidential election and the Evanston City Center has turned out to be the second busiest early voting location.

Grace period voting and by-mail voting has also increased substantially. Early voting continues at the Civic Center until 7 p.m. tonight.

More than a quarter of the count’s registered voters have already cast ballots. That could make for shorter lines Tuesday on election day — unless it means that overall interest in the election is also substantially higher than usual.

Update 7 p.m.: Just minutes before the scheduled end of early voting this evening scores of people were still waiting in line to vote at the Evanston Civic Center. City Clerk Rodney Greene says the voting turnout has continued to set records with perhaps as many as 2,000 people voting today.

Orr says that for the first time in a presidential election voters here can register on election day by going to their home precinct and showing two forms of ID. One ID needs to show the voter’s current address, but no photo ID is necessary.

Voters can check the location of their precinct online.

In addition to deciding who will be the next president, voters in Illinois will be choosing a U.S. senator, and Evanston voters will be casting ballots for U.S. and state representative positions. Full sample ballot information can be found online.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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