Early Voting Sees Lengthy Lines Ahead of Election Day

Election officials expect the lines will be even longer Election Day.

Voters stood in line as long as two to three hours in the Chicago area Monday night to cast their ballots.

But they patiently waited — saying it’s important to exercise their right to vote.

Chicago had a very strong finish to early voting with 28,367 ballots casts for a total of 223,548, according to the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners. Early voting in the city was up a whopping 96 percent from the 2014 midterm--with half of this year's early voting happening in the final six days.

Meanwhile, he’s not running for re-election but Mayor Rahm Emanuel still greeted voters near Wells and Washington on the record-setting day.

"I think it’s impressive that people are in line all day long," he said. "So before I headed home I just wanted to thank them."

Voters also waited for hours in the Lakeview neighborhood.

“We’ve got pizza for you when you get through,” Michele Ellis, an election judge, told those waiting.

Judges thanked voters for their patience.

“(I've) been waiting about two hours and actually brought my kindle with me so I’ve been reading,” said voter Aiah Yobah.

Others kept their sense of humor—even at the end of the line, like Cliff Whitehouse.

“We started from way down there so we’re making progress,” he said with a laugh.

Other voters like Lita Hoover say they've bonded with others through the experience.

"I’m making friends and a lady passed out snacks for us so we’re all good," she said.

One neighbor started an election party for strangers—regardless of political party.

"I think voting is important," voter Jen Levine said. "It doesn’t matter who people vote for as long as they vote."

She also brought food for her sister who’s 39 weeks pregnant with her third boy and overdue to vote.

"So you gotta vote cause you never know what’s going to happen to this generation," she said.

Even a mom who just gave birth stood in line for hours.

"I’m gonna tell her she voted when she was 4-weeks-old so she has no excuse not to in the future," Kate Schulte said of her infant daughter Rosie.

Election officials expect the lines will be even longer Election Day.

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