Big Illinois Turnout Even Before November Third
Even though the election technically is still two weeks away, Illinois residents have turned out in un-precedented numbers and voted early and by mail. Figures from the State Board of Elections show that as of Friday, 900,000 people had voted.
Spokesman Matt Dietrich says that's six times the total number of Illinois votes cast at this time prior to the 2016 election. Much of the increase is due to voting by mail.
"There's was a huge push to get people to vote by mail over the summer in response to the pandemic of course - there was a lot of concern about people knowing that vote by mail was an option available to them if they didn't want to go into a polling place and vote."
Ballot applications were sent to anyone who voted in Illinois in recent years, 6.4 million, and so far more than 2.2 million have applied.
Another factor in the early "turnout" is early voting - Dietrich says it's more than double 2016 so far, probably because people want to avoid any possible crowds.
"And that would be the last few days of early voting because typically even though Illinois allows 40 days of early voting, typically most of the early voting gets done in those days immediately before the election."
They also want to avoid any possible long lines on election day, November 3rd.
Figures from Friday show more than 23,000 people in Rock Island County have voted already either early or by mail, with 5,400 from Whiteside County, and 4,400 from Henry County. ( Mercer C 330, Knox C 1,900 )