Over 41% of voters citywide have turned out to vote so far, with over 636,000 ballots already cast
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Voter turnout has already jumped as people in Chicago have been showing up to the polls.
At the super site in Chicago's Loop at Clark and Lake, there was a steady stream of voters coming in since the doors opened at 6 a.m. At some points, the line stretched around the block outside.
As of 7 p.m. Tuesday, Chicago Board of Election officials said over 41% of voters citywide have turned out to vote, with over 636,000 ballots already cast. Remember, polls close at 7 p.m. As long as you are in line at 7 p.m., you can still vote.
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From the first-timers to the longtime voters, voter turnout was strong Tuesday in downtown Chicago. People who spoke with ABC7 had a lot of issues on their minds as they made their decisions.
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"Crime, safety, jobs and security," one voter named Charlie said.
"The issue about mental health in the 20th Ward because all of the mental health facilities have closed," another voter named Edward said.
About a third of our state's total votes are expected to be absentee or early voting. Election officials said they are ready to count those votes and ready for any in-person voting issues.
"We have a trained team of election polling place investigators to make sure everyone is safe and everything goes smoothly," Chicago Board of Elections Chairwoman Marisel Hernandez said.
With the hotly-contested governor's race on the ballot, along with several key local issues, many understand these midterm elections are very important for our state, counties and cities.
"I just think that local politics influences national politics, so why not start local," voter Allee Struve said.
"Most African Americans feel as though they don't need to vote or they don't have a voice to vote and when they do it's unrecognized, so I just I thought it was best to come to vote and voice my opinion," voter Jamelia Jakes said.
"Voting is your right and it's your responsibility," voter Maureen Banik said. "I used to tell people you don't have a right to complain if you don't go out and vote."
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After the rush of early voting, polling places such as the field house at Union Park saw steady if unspectacular traffic as citizens exercised their democratic rights.
"It was great, super easy," voter Michael Boyd said. "I mean, there's a lot of people who did a lot of things to make people like myself have the opportunity to vote, so I just wanted to get out and make the right choices."
Amanda Shrewsbury is voting in America for the first time. The hand written ballots here are a change from the technology she was used to back home in Brazil.
"I am very excited to act as a citizen," she said. "I am an immigrant, so I am very proud to use my civic duty and just be part of this amazing society that is America."
DuPage County voter turnout brisk, despite high rate of early and absentee voting
A steady stream of voters from all across DuPage County came ready to cast their ballots in Naperville, which sits between both DuPage and Will Counties. It's also split between the three congressional districts getting the most attention this year, at least in our area. So it's no surprise turnout here has been brisk.
As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, voter turnout stood at 46% in DuPage County. While that is significantly less than what's typically seen during presidential elections, so far it is trending higher than the 2018 midterms.
"I think it's important that we come out and vote, for the person who is right for the job," Elmhurst voter Linda Vickers said.
Some voters came with their children, hoping to set an example for the future.
"So she can see what voting is like," Naperville voter Melissa Yao said. "She hasn't seen it yet. It was a first-time experience."
With early and absentee voting expected to account for around 30% of the vote statewide, the lines for those who preferred to wait until Election Day to make their voice heard were shorter than usual.
"There is just so much information out there so I did a little more reading before I came today," Naperville voter Dawn Barrett said.
"It's everybody's right and if you're going to have a voice, then make sure that you vote," Naperville voter Dan Donati said. "Otherwise, maybe not say anything at all."