Polls Open Across Illinois for Primary Election - NBC Chicago
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Polls Open Across Illinois for Primary Election

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    Polls Open Across Illinois for Primary Election

    As polls officially open across Illinois, elections officials are preparing for a large number of voters to cast their ballots Tuesday. Sandra Torres reports.

    (Published Tuesday, March 20, 2018)

    As polls officially open across Illinois, elections officials are preparing for a large number of voters to cast their ballots Tuesday.

    “We’re expecting a much better turnout than four years ago,” said Marisel Hernandez, chairwoman for the Chicago Board of Elections.

    In Cook County, election officials have estimated a record 1.5 million residents are registered to vote.

    As of Tuesday morning, 108,000 early ballots had been cast in Chicago. That number exceeds the 45,013 early voters from the 2010 primary and the 36,113 total from 2014.

    In suburban Cook County, nearly 92,000 early votes were recorded by Sunday night.

    The record for the number of early votes in a gubernatorial primary election in suburban Cook County, set in 2010, was shattered last Monday with one week of early voting still remaining.

    Vote by mail applications in Chicago were also nearly five times the number reported in 2014 and almost triple the totals in 2010.

    “Given those early voting numbers I think we’re going to see the highest voter turnout on today, Election Day,” Hernandez said.

    Polls opened across the area at 6 a.m., but not without some frustrations. 

    In Chicago's Hyde Park, voters could be seen standing in line for several minutes after the polls opened at Kozminski Community Academy. 

    Officials said the building's engineer arrived nearly an hour late, but noted that those were in line at 6 a.m. were able to vote by 6:30 a.m. 

    "We apologize profusely," Hernandez said. "All voters were able to vote and that’s what we’re glad about."

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