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Early voting polls flooded as deadline looms
By Joseph Ryan | Daily Herald Staff

Francine Brottman, with her 9-year-old son Eli, of St. Charles casts her early vote at the Kane County Circuit Court Clerk's Office in St. Charles. The site served more than 500 voters Tuesday.

 

Mary Beth Nolan | Staff Photographer

Early voters wait their turn at Des Plaines City Hall, as record numbers of voters turn out to cast their ballot before Election Day.

 

Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

Early voters wait their turn at Des Plaines City Hall, as record numbers of voters turn out to cast their ballot before Election Day.

 

Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

Voters crowd Des Plaines City Hall as record numbers of voters turn out before Election Day.

 

Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

Early voting is drawing crowds, such as this one at the Des Plaines City Hall.

 

Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

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Published: 10/29/2008 12:02 AM

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County officials are warning voters to brace for lines in the final days of early voting, but ones that may still be shorter than on Election Day.

Since early voting began Oct. 13, an unprecedented turnout has led to lengthy lines at polling stations across the suburbs. Early voting ends Thursday and the official Election Day is Tuesday.

"The voters have been very patient and they understand it could be worse on Election Day," says Willard Helander, Lake County's clerk.

Lake County had more than 63,000 voters as of Tuesday afternoon, more than triple the number of people who cast ballots early in the presidential primary.

There has been a similar turnout across the suburbs. Statewide more than a quarter of a million people have already voted.

But Election Day is still expected to be busy.

"We have a record number of registered voters, there is a hometown candidate for the highest office and people are excited and ready to cast their ballot," says Courtney Greve, spokeswoman for Cook County Clerk David Orr.

More than 160,000 people had voted as of Tuesday afternoon in Cook County, with lines sometimes as long as an hour.

"They should expect lines," Greve said of early voting on Wednesday and Thursday, "but they are not long in every location."

In Kane County, more than 33,000 early votes had been cast, about 16 percent of all registered voters.

And some areas of Lake County have already seen a 25 percent turnout for early voting, Hillard said.

For more information on voting and polling locations, contact your county election's office.

Lake County: (847) 377-2000 or www.co.lake.il.us

DuPage County: (630) 407-5600 or www.dupageelections.com

Kane County: (630) 232-5990 or www.kanecountyelections.org

McHenry County: (815) 334-4242 or www.co.mchenry.il.us

Cook County: (312) 603-0906 or www.voterinfonet.com