Early voters cast their ballots in Chicago

October 23, 2012 (CHICAGO)

More than 500 residents are expected to cast their ballots Tuesday at the Jackson Park field house on the South Side. The average wait time is two hours.

Jo Anne Nix does not mind waiting. "We all have to do our part," she said.

"Don't mind waiting, happy to be here and I hope everyone else comes vote too," said Carrie Barnum, voter.

The push is on at Operation Push to help early voters get to the Board of Elections to vote. They even provided a bus for the eight people who needed a ride Tuesday, the second day of early voting.

"I am here because we all have to understand how important this election is," said Geannetta Bradshaw, voter.

"Sometimes something happens and you cannot get to the polling place," said Helen Sinclair, voter.

"The least thing you can do is come out and support your politicians," said Harry Poindexter, voter. "The earlier, the better."

"We want people to early vote to make sure that they can vote because there are so many changes in polling places," said Rev. Jeannette Wilson, senior advisor to Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.

After reaching their destination, the voters ABC7 was with did not have to wait long in line at the Board of Elections, which had 50 voting machines. They were constantly busy

"It is like a revolving door coming in and out," said election judge

"I just wanted to get it over with. My mind is made up already," said Steve Eck, voter.

"We wish we could open more sites, but there is a high level of planning and legal notice, too," said Jim Allen, spokesperson for the Chicago Board of Elections. "The mailings have already gone out and we have a site in every ward."

Allen says the ballots are stored in computer files, but they are not tabulated until after the polls close on Election Night. He says "we do not open any presents before Christmas."

Absentee ballots are also collected, but nothing is counted.

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