More than half a million people in Illinois have already voted in the November election.
About 147 thousand of the ballots cast so far are from Illinoisans taking advantage of early voting, and approximately 379 thousand coming from mail-ballots as of Friday.
State Board of Elections spokesperson Matt Dietrich says they are strongly urging voters who requested a mail-in ballot to return them right away in an effort to catch any errors.
“You send in your ballot and if there is any kind of problem with it, your election authority is required to notify you within two days. If you get it back in early you are ensured that there is plenty of time to rectify any problems that might come up with your signature, with the ballot being damaged, it arriving unsealed, anything like that.”
Dietrich says the State Board of Elections also want mail-in ballots early so election officials can get counting and have more results on election night.
“We want to make sure that the maximum number of vote by mail ballots are returned to local election authorities and processed prior to November 3rd. That way, once the polls close on November 3rd, all of those previously processed vote by mail ballots- the votes can be totaled, and they’ll be part of the election night total.”
Dietrich says numbers should continue to increase next week as more early voting locations become available in Cook County and the City of Chicago.
The last day to request a mail-in ballot is October 29th. Visit elections.il.gov for more information.