Early voters coming out in droves

October 28, 2012 (CHICAGO)

With just nine days left before the 2012 presidential election, early voters are coming out in droves.

"This is a very close race and everybody wants their vote to count," said early voter Robert Parran.

At the Welles Park early voting site, there was at least an hour wait for those who've already decided who they're casting their ballots for.

The community center was one of only three weekend locations open in the city Sunday.

"This is a benefit to us because when we work on Tuesday it's sometimes hard to get in," said early voter Patty Nedved.

The first day of early voting in Illinois was Monday, before the third and final debate between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney.

Area election officials in both suburban Cook County and Chicago are already reporting a record turnout that rivals four years ago.

"Compared to the first week of 2008, we're up 60 percent, compared to the second week, we're up about 30 percent. Even absentee ballots are up,' said Jim Allen of the Chicago Board of Elections.

In the city of Chicago Monday 15,711 votes were placed. In 2008, the number was 11,749.

In suburban Cook County, 13,500 ballots were cast on the first day of early voting. Four years ago, it was about 7,700.

In DuPage County, some like Arti Deshpande voted early because she's no longer undecided.

"I made up my mind," she said. "I knew who I wanted to vote for. So I wanted to avoid the last minute rush and just get it done."

Some political analysts say it's possible up to 40 percent may head to the polling place early because of the push by both campaigns and renewed interest in the political process.

All the early voting sites in suburban Cook County and Chicago will open Monday.

Early voting will last until November 3rd. That's the Saturday before Election Day.

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