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Get To the Polls Early—Officials Expect Big Turnout

By Sam Bakken in News on Oct 30, 2004 8:19PM

Photo of lever pull machine from Chicago Daily Sun circa 1905While he stopped short of predicting record voter turnout in Chicago, Chicago Board of Election Commissioners chairman Langdon Neal said he expects turnout to beat the 70% of voters that voted in 2000. Way to go Chi-town that's well above the national turnout of 51.3% in 2000 for the federal elections. In Chicago in 1944, voter turnout was 91%. Holy shit! Can you imagine what a different nation the U.S. would be if 91% of people of voting age turned out for the federal elections?

There are 1,416,101 people registered to vote in Chicago and 1,380,024 people registered in the suburbs. Cook County Clerk David Orr agreed with Neal saying the vote total will definitely outsize the total in 2000 thanks to what he estimates will be the most-ever votes cast in the Cook County suburbs.

Neal and Orr recommend that voters avoid long lines by getting to the polls before the end-of-day rush between 4 and 7 p.m.

They also say they are prepared for a big turnout and that their vote counting machines, the only of their kind used in the country, will cut down on voter error. The machines immediately check a ballot for over and under-voting and allow a voter an immediate chance to correct any errors.