CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois voters headed to the polls Tuesday for the primary election, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Due to polling place changes and late openings, the Cook County clerk's office said it received a court order to permit 40 suburban Cook County precincts to extend voting by one hour to 8 p.m.
FULL LIST: Cook County polling places open until 8 p.m.
The Illinois primary comes as Gov. JB Pritzker announced the state's first coronavirus-related death and the number of confirmed cases in the state has reached 160. Many people may be scared away from the polls, but the election is going on as planned.
Vote 2020: Election Information for Voting in Illinois
On this Election Day, antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer were as much part of the voting process as pens and ballots. Coronavirus-related fears kept some voters away from the polls, while others showed up wearing masks and gloves.
"I wasn't going to come," voter Destiny Adeniran said. "It was a difficult decision but I'm like, it's my civic duty. I came out. I know over here there's a lot of older people. I want to be safe. I want them to be safe."
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At Precinct 13 on the North Side at Sheridan Road and Granville Avenue, voting booths were set up as polls opened at 6 a.m. One voter wore a mask over her nose and mouth and had gloves on. She said nothing was going to stop her today.
"I'm older," she said. "I'm 74 and I've got underlying conditions so I am in the target category for the virus, so I was worried about looking crazy, but then I thought: who cares, right? This is more important."
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Coronavirus will have an undeniable impact on voter turnout. According to the Chicago Board of Elections, there was extremely low turnout citywide in the first two hours of voting - about 10,000 voters in the first hour - compared to a usual number of 30,000 to 40,000 per hour during peak periods. A lack of election judges - who simply did not show up today out of fear - and the forced relocation of some 50 polling places originally scheduled to take place inside nursing homes didn't help things either.
"I understand why people might be cautious about coming out," voter Johnnetta Philpotts-Arrington. "We have a line in there and we're close to each other. But anything can happen at any time. It doesn't take a virus."
While many clearly chose to stay home, election officials are banking on those who voted before Tuesday to make up part of the deficit. In Chicago, requests for mail-in ballots more than tripled this year. Early voting numbers also broke records, with some 172,000 people casting their ballots before Election Day.
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The Illinois Department of Public Health has created a hotline at 1-800-889-3931. More information can be found at the IDPH website and the Chicago Department of Public Health website.
IL Primary Election Results 2020: Illinois voters cast ballots amid coronavirus concerns