CHICAGO (WLS) -- Early voting is in full swing across Chicago, just two weeks ahead of the April 4 runoff election.
The polls opened at 9 a.m. Monday across the city at locations in all 50 wars.
Margo Harris was bundled up outside the Loop's voter Super Site one hour before the polls opened for the start of early voting. She was among the first in the city to cast a ballot, a tradition she's proud of.
"I want people to see that it's not that hard to do it," Harris said. "You go in, you know who you are going for and that's it."
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According to the Chicago Board of Elections, nearly 132,000 early votes were cast during the February 28 election. That accounts for almost a quarter of all votes cast during the first round of voting.
"I cannot emphasize how important this election is," Chicago Board of Election Marisel Hernandez said. "April 4 will decide who are next mayor will be for the next four years."
Still, Hernandez said she's disappointed with voter turnout during the general election, when about 35% of eligible voters cast their ballots. Voters aged 18 to 24 had the lowest turnout.
The popularity of mail-in ballots has risen sharply. So far, there have been 192,000 applications to vote by mail. March 30 is the last day to request a vote-by-mail ballot.
The push to drive voters to the polls ahead of Election Day comes as the city's mayoral candidates, Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas, are using every second to win over potential voters.
"It is well past time that the wealthy and large organizations pay their fair share of taxes," Johnson said.
"I've said over and over: public safety is a human right," Vallas said.
ABC7 Political Analyst Laura Washington said the final days leading up to Election Day will be crucial for both candidates.
"I think the candidates believe and the voters believe that this is a pivotal time in the city, Washington said. "The city faces many challenges. We are looking for new leadership, so this is a historically important time to get out and vote."
Over the weekend, both Johnson and Vallas met with an organization called United Power, which is working to rebuild neighborhoods on the South and West sides of the city.
Vallas also picked up a key endorsement from his former rival, businessman Willie Wilson, along with African American faith leaders at Providence Missionary Baptist Church on the South Side.
Johnson is expected to be endorsed by black firefighters and paramedics later Monday, while Vallas will be backed by the Latino Leadership Council at a separate event.
"I hope they can do something right," Harris said.
As Harris casts her ballot, other Chicagoans said this is a freedom that can't be taken for granted.
"Your right to vote is your greatest right that an American citizen has." Chicagoan Cyrus Jackson said. "There's nothing greater than your right to vote."
The polls are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays leading up to Election Day.
Chicago residents can vote at any early voting location, no matter where they live.
Chicago ward early voting locations:
Ward 1 - Goldblatt's Building, 1615 W. Chicago Ave.
Ward 2 - Near North Library, 310 W. Division St.
Ward 3 - Dawson Technical Institute, 3901 S. State St.
Ward 4 - Dr. Martin Luther King Center, 4314 S. Cottage Grove Ave.
Ward 5 - Southside YMCA, 6330 S. Stony Island Ave.
Ward 6 - Whitney Young Library, 415 E. 79th St.
Ward 7 - Trumbull Park, 2400 E. 105th St.
Ward 8 - Olive Harvey College, 10001 S. Woodlawn Ave.
Ward 9 - Palmer Park, 201 E. 111th St.
Ward 10 - East Side Vodak Library, 3710 E. 106th St.
Ward 11 - McGuane Park, 2901 S. Poplar Ave.
Ward 12 - McKinley Park Library, 1915 W. 35th St.
Ward 13 - Clearing Branch Library, 6423 W. 63rd Pl.
Ward 14 - Archer Heights Library, 5055 S. Archer Ave.
Ward 15 - Gage Park, 2411 W. 55th St.
Ward 16 - Lindblom Park, 6054 S. Damen Ave.
Ward 17 - Thurgood Marshall Library, 7506 S. Racine Ave.
Ward 18 - Wrightwood Ashburn Library, 8530 S. Kedzie Ave.
Ward 19 - Mt. Greenwood Park, 3721 W. 111th St.
Ward 20 - Bessie Coleman Library, 731 E. 63rd St.
Ward 21 - West Pullman Library, 830 W. 119th St.
Ward 22 - Toman Library, 2708 S. Pulaski Rd.
Ward 23 - Hall - St Faustina Kowalska Parish, 5157 S. McVicker Ave.
Ward 24 - St. Agatha Catholic Parish, 3151 W. Douglas Ave.
Ward 25 - Rudy Lozano Library, 1805 S. Loomis St.
Ward 26 - Humboldt Park Library, 1605 N. Troy St.
Ward 27 - Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph Ave.
Ward 28 - Westside Learning Center, 4624 W. Madison St.
Ward 29 - Amundsen Park, 6200 W. Bloomingdale Ave.
Ward 30 - Kilbourn Park, 3501 N. Kilbourn Ave.
Ward 31 - Portage Cragin Library. 5108 W. Belmont Ave.
Ward 32 - Bucktown-Wicker Park Library, 1701 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Ward 33 - American Indian Center, 3401 W. Ainsle St.
Ward 34 - UIC Student Center, 750 S. Halsted St.
Ward 35 - Northeastern IL University El Centro, 3390 N. Avondale Ave.
Ward 36 - West Belmont Library, 3104 N. Narrangansett Ave.
Ward 37 - West Chicago Library, 4856 W. Chicago Ave.
Ward 38 - Hiawatha Park, 8029 W. Forest Preserve Dr.
Ward 39 - North Park Village Admin Bldg, 5801 N. Pulaski
Ward 40 - Budlong Woods Library, 5630 N. Lincoln Ave.
Ward 41 - Roden Library, 6083 N. Northwest Hw.
Ward 42 - Maggie Daley Park, 337 E. Randolph St.
Ward 43 - Lincoln Park Branch Library, 1150 W. Fullerton Ave.
Ward 44 - Merlo Library, 644 W. Belmont Ave.
Ward 45 - Kolping Society of Chicago, 5826 N. Elston Ave.
Ward 46 - Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson Ave.
Ward 47 - Welles Park, 2333 W. Sunnyside Ave.
Ward 48 - Broadway Armory, 5917 N. Broadway St.
Ward 49 - Willye B White Park, 1610 W. Howard St.
Ward 50 - Northtown Library, 6800 N. Western Ave.
Board Supersite - 191 N. Clark (Clark & Lake)
Board Offices - 69 W. Washington, 6th Floor (not open on Election Day)