Union Station to open early voting location Monday as polling stations expand across Cook County

Sunday was the last day to register online to vote in Illinois
CHICAGO (WLS) -- With Election Day just over two weeks away, early voting is expanding in the Chicago area.

There's a big push to get people to the polls early due to the pandemic, and Monday the latest polling station will open at Chicago's Union Station.

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"There is so much going on right now, I feel like voting is really critical, especially in the light of the pandemic," said voter Kristen Erekson.

Erekson came with her sister, who is ready for this election to be over.

"I don't want to hear any more about all these political fights," Allison Erekson said. "I just want more decency back in this country, back in Chicago."

Early voting locations are expanding Monday at more than 50 locations across suburban Cook County, including at Union Station. Residents in the collar counties will also have more available polling places.

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As of Friday morning, election officials said more than 256,000 early vote ballots have been collected in Illinois. That number doesn't include mail in ballots.

"I have a lot of faith in the mail-in system but I think for me, this election it was very important to me to physically cast my ballot," said Victor Lopez.

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"I don't always vote early, but I felt like this was too important and there is too many obstacles I just wanted to make sure my vote counted," added Corliss King.

Early voting numbers are shattering records across the country. More than 27 million ballots in total have been submitted, according to the U.S. Elections Project.

"People are voting early because they're concerned about the impact of the coronavirus, they're concerned about making sure they get leaders in place who will take us out of the pandemic," said ABC 7 Political Analyst Laura Washington.

Sunday was the last day to register online to vote in Illinois.

The online voter registration application closed at 11:50 p.m. Sunday according to the State Board of Elections.

According to the Illinois Board of Elections all mail-in ballot requests "must be received by the election authority by October 29."

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Mildred Madison is staying with family in the Chicago suburbs but she did not receive her ballot, so she asked her son to drive her to Detroit this week so she could vote.

The State Board of Elections warned there may be delays in accessing its website because of the unprecedented number of requests.
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