Early voting began Monday and runs through March 15 at any of the 43 locations in Cook County.
Early voting started in Illinois in 2006, so there is only one other presidential primary election to compare with to anticipate turnout, said Courtney Greve, spokesman for Cook County Clerk David Orr’s office.
Greve said because the county is largely Democratic, and this is not an election with an interesting Democratic contest for either governor or president, she expects early voting turnout to be low. That's in contrast to 2008 when more than 50,000 voters went to the polls in the primary.
“We don’t anticipate a high turnout because we don’t have a true Democratic contest for the presidential primary,” Greve said.Primary Early Voting Ballots Percentage of Turnout that Voted Early March 2006 15,609 of 345,970 4.49% February 2008 51,116 of 585,449 8.73% February 2010 34,688 of 367,688 10.6% Source: Cook County Clerk's Office
This year, five additional locations were designated to be open for early voting on weekends.
The locations open to voters on the weekend, in addition to the clerk’s office at 69 W. Washington St. in Chicago, are Evanston Civic Center, Arlington Heights Village Hall, Cicero PSO Building, Cicero Town Hall and Oak Lawn Village Hall.
Greve said the weekend locations were added after suburban courthouses were closed on weekends. The change was part of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s cost-saving plan, the Sun-Times reported.
Unlike on Election Day, voters can go to any of the locations in Cook County, including to the clerk’s office, to cast their primary ballots.
In Illinois, voters don’t register by party, but are required to choose a party when casting a ballot in a primary election.
Nearby early voting locations include:
- Chicago Heights City Hall
1601 Chicago Road, Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
50 E. Wend St., Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Oak Forest City Hall
15440 S. Central Ave., Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Oak Lawn Village Hall
9446 S. Raymond Ave., Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Orland Park Village Hall
14700 Ravinia Ave., Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Palos Heights Administration Building
7607 W. College Dr., Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- The Bridgeview Courthouse
10220 S. 76th Ave., Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- The Markham Courthouse
16501 S. Kedzie Ave., Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For a list of all the early voting locations and times, visit the Cook County Clerk’s website.