Chicagoans Shatter Early Voting Records, Facing Hours-Long Lines

Chicagoans set new records for early voting this year, shattering the city's record turnout for Barack Obama in 2008, even as many faced massive lines at polling places ahead of Election Day. 

The Chicago Board of Elections announced Tuesday that a record 325,112 early ballots had been cast from the time early voting began on Oct. 24 through Sunday. That turnout tops the city’s previous early voting record of 260,378 ballots cast ahead of the 2008 election, when hometown favorite Barack Obama was first running for president.

Once mail-in and grace-period registration ballots are counted, the number of early votes cast this year rises to about 400,000, officials said. 

Monday marked the best-ever single day of early voting, with an unofficial total of 40,609 ballots cast, according to James Allen, communications director for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners. 

On Sunday alone, 22,904 votes were recorded, according to the Board of Elections, which is nearly double the previous high for a Sunday, also set this year - 11,946 ballots cast on Oct. 30. 

The city's skyrocketing turnout caused problems for some voters, as massive lines snaked around several voting sites throughout Chicago. 

At the early voting "super site," located at 15 W. Washington in The Loop, some voters told NBC Chicago that they returned Monday after facing 3-hour lines the day before. According to several reports, lines were wrapped around the corner outside the site on Monday, the final day of early voting. 

There were also substantial lines at the Edgewater Library polling place, located at 6000 N. Broadway, and the Near North Library location at 310 W. Division, according to reports.

According to the Chicago Board of Elections, all 51 Early Voting & Registration sites in Chicago would remain open until 7 p.m. Monday.

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