Watch CBS News

DuPage County program allows voters to cast their ballots at any site countywide, and it's boosted early voting numbers

DuPage County program allows voters to cast ballots at any polling place
DuPage County program allows voters to cast ballots at any polling place 02:15

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Illinois primary is coming up Tuesday, and early voting numbers ahead of that date were down in Chicago.

But as CBS 2's Tara Molina reported, that has not been the case everywhere.

Early voting was set to wrap up at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Polling places will be open for primary day from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Our cameras rolled Monday afternoon as some of the last early ballots were cast in the Near North Chicago Public Library, 310 W. Division St., where the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners said 770 people chose to vote early this year.

Taking a look at the city, the latest numbers available Monday morning in Chicago show just over 48,055 ballots cast – with 50,457 vote-by-mail ballots returned.

A grand total of 98,512 early voting ballots have been cast so far in Chicago – on the lower end. A big chunk of ballots still had not been returned as of Monday.

We have also learned there are 74,733 unreturned vote-by-mail ballots now.

Meanwhile in suburban Cook County, 60,142 early voting ballots have been cast.

But another greater Chicago area county is seeing record numbers – with six times more mail applications than they saw back in 2018. That is DuPage County.

"We are way ahead," said DuPage County Clerk Jean Kaczmarek.

Kaczmarek said in a virtual interview that DuPage County has a brand-new on-demand voting system in place called the Vote Anywhere program – which will make elections easier for everyone. The program makes it so voters can cast their ballot at any polling place in DuPage County – instead of just one specific assigned precinct polling place.

"So far, it's going great," Kaczmarek said, "and the voters like it, because paper ballots – they're the gold standard."

DuPage County is the first county in Illinois giving voters such an option.

"Instead of having pre-printed ballots, now a voter can to a polling place and check in, and receive a freshly-printed ballot," Kaczmarek said, "and because we have this system, that means that a voter can vote anywhere tomorrow at any one of the 263 polling sites throughout DuPage County."

Kaczmarek also said DuPage County has had more than 35,000 applications for mail-in ballots, a chunk of which have also been returned.

Molina asked a representative for Cook County if they're exploring a similar option like the Vote Anywhere initiative moving forward. The County had not addressed that question as of late Monday. 

Find your polling place:


Suburban Cook County

DeKalb County

DuPage County

Grundy County

Kane County

Kankakee County

Kendall County

Lake County

LaSalle County

McHenry County

Will County

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.