Chicagoans Voting Early in Record Numbers

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Oct 14, 2008 2:45PM

earlyvoting101408.jpgIt's looking like a record-setting year for early voting in the Chicago area, most likely due to a certain Hyde Park resident who's running for President. According to an email exchange we had with Chicago Board of Election Commissioners Communications Director James Allen, 11,074 ballots had been cast as of 4:27 p.m. yesterday. By the end of the day, that number had reached 11,735, nearly three times the previous record for the first day of early voting and just shy of the 11, 971 votes cast on the last day of early voting before this year's primary election in February (we were stuck in that ridonkulous line for two hours). Our own Karl Klockars reported waiting in line yesterday to cast his early vote. Even the 'burbs got in on the act, casting 7,616 early votes, smashing the previous record of 1,591, also from this year's primary early voting period.

Look, it's very easy to be cynical around here with the "vote early, vote often" motto (it does still give us a chuckle). But given the spate of voter apathy in the last several Presidential elections (in which total votes have been rivaled by the season finales of American Idol), we have to say we're getting excited by the heavy turn-out. No matter which way you go, we're fans of exercising the right to vote and hope all of you reading this will do the same. Remember, early voting continues through October 30th and if you haven't registered, you're still in luck: take advantage of the grace period to cast an absentee ballot which is, well, right now through next Tuesday, October 21. Hit one of these six locations to get in on the action. And today, we're only three weeks from Election Day.

Image of early voting receipt courtesy of the aforementioned Karl Klockars