485K of Illinois' 8M Registered Voters Cast Ballots Early | NBC Chicago
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485K of Illinois' 8M Registered Voters Cast Ballots Early

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    Wrist bands, which are given to residents after they cast a ballot for the November 8 election, sit on a table at an early voting site on October 18, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. With three weeks to go until election day, most polls show Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton with a substantial lead over her GOP rival Donald Trump. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

    Illinois State Board of Elections officials say over 6 percent of Illinois' record 8 million active registered voters have already cast their ballots with a little more than a week to go until Election Day.

    The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports over 485,400 Illinoisresidents had voted in the Nov. 8 election as of Thursday morning either by mail, in person or using grace period registration, which allows people to register and cast their ballots simultaneously.

    In 2012, the last presidential election year, nearly 16 percent of active registered voters cast their ballots before Election Day, representing 22 percent of the nearly 5.3 million votes.

    Elections board spokesman Jim Tenuto says early voting has become increasingly popular as Illinois has expanded opportunities for people to cast ballots ahead of time.

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