Chicago mayoral election 2023: Officials encouraged by high early voting returns so far

Officials looking to hire more election judges; how you can apply and how much it pays, below

Diane Pathieu Image
Monday, February 20, 2023
Chicago election officials encouraged by high early voting returns
Just over a week until Election Day for Chicago, officials are encouraged by the early voting turnout so far with nine candidates running for mayor.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's the final push to Election Day in Chicago and early voting numbers indicate people really want to have a say over which of the nine mayoral candidates will lead the city.

The election takes place one week from Tuesday.

With more than 100,000 early votes already cast, not including vote-by-mail, this election is looking to surpass numbers seen in previous elections.

"Just as of last night, Sunday, we've had over a 104,000 votes and ballots cast in the city of Chicago," Max Bever with the Chicago Board of Elections, said. "Comparatively, to the 2015, and the 2011 municipal elections, we are way ahead so far."

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Early voting in Chicago is breaking records.

Election Day, is on February 28, one week and one day away and ballots keep coming in, and it's not just in person.

"As of last night, we've had over 61,000 vote-by-mail ballots already returned and we've had over 43,000 early votes already cast," Bever said.

This election is not without its share of drama. In the race for the 28th Ward, people can now vote for Shawn Walker or longtime incumbent Alderman Jason Ervin.

An Illinois Appellate Court ordered Walker be placed back on the ballot after an issue with validated signatures. The court also removed two other candidates.

Board of Election officials rushed to make sure the updated ballots are now available, delaying the opening at some sites. Those that voted early will not have a change to vote again in that ward.

"In these types of very complicated court cases, we have to follow whatever the court tells us to do and the court did not order us to resend any ballots, or to let people vote again," Bever said. "This is a late-breaking case, that actually sends it back to the electoral board."

Chicago looking to hire more election judges

If you've ever had itch to be an election judge, now is the time.

The Chicago Board of Elections is looking to staff more judges at each polling place, offering more than $200 for your time.

"So if you are available on Election Day, we know it's a long day, but returning judges make up to $255, and new judges make up to $230," Bever said. "You can go to to learn more and sign up for election day we can use your help."

To be an election judge, you must: be a U.S. citizen, be a registered voter in Cook County if you are 18 and over, and be able to speak, write and read in English.

Bilingual judges, especially those who speak Spanish, Polish, Hindi, Chinese, Korean or Tagalog, are also encouraged to apply right away.

High school and college students can also apply, but they must complete the training program and must have a GPA of at least 3.0.

Remember, if you plan to vote early, you can choose from any of the 50 ward sites plus the board of elections office downtown and the supersite at Clark and Lake will be open until 7 p.m. to accommodate voters.