Polls opened across Illinois Tuesday morning, marking the start of an Election Day unlike any other in American history.
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, voters will head to the polls to cast their ballots, the final day to do so following record-breaking early voting numbers.
The city of Chicago saw record early voting this year, with more than 738,000 residents casting votes via mail-in ballot or in-person voting in the days ahead of Election Day.
“Early turnout has been incredible. We’re so excited so many Chicagoans are exercising their right to vote,” Chicago Board of Elections Chairwoman Marisel Hernandez said.
At the state level, nearly 3.6 million votes have already been cast, with more than 1.76 million ballots mailed in to election authorities. Both of those are records, according to state election officials. The state has also set a record for registered voters, with more than 8.3 million residents having registered to vote in the current election.
Even if those interested in voting aren’t registered, they can still cast ballots. Under Illinois law, those interested in voting can go to their polling place on Election Day for same-day registration.
For those residents who have mail-in ballots that they were unable to return, they can bring those ballots to their polling places for drop-off on Election Day.
Even with all of the different ways to cast ballots in this election, Hernandez says that voters should still expect vote counting to proceed in a similar fashion to previous years. Results should start to filter out in the hours immediately after the polls close at 7 p.m., with approximately 90% of results expected in by 10 p.m.