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Early voting expands Monday in Chicago and Cook County suburbs

Chicago, Cook County suburbs expand early voting for March 19 primary elections
Chicago, Cook County suburbs expand early voting for March 19 primary elections 01:22

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Early voting in the March 19 primary election expanded to dozens of additional locations on Monday in Chicago and suburban Cook County.

In addition to the two downtown sites that opened last month, early voting sites opened in all 50 wards in Chicago on Monday.

All 50 early voting sites in the wards will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays through March 18. They will also be open on Election Day from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The two downtown sites – at 191 N. Clark St. and 69 W. Washington St. – will be open the following hours:

February 15 - March 10

  • Weekdays: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

March 11 - March 18

  • Weekdays: 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

A complete list of Chicago's early voting sites and hours is available on the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners' website.

In the Cook County suburbs, 53 early voting locations also opened on Monday. Early voting was already underway at the Cook County Clerk's office in downtown Chicago and five suburban courthouses.

The Clerk's website has a complete list of locations and hours.

If you're not yet registered to vote, you can also register before casting your ballot at all early voting sites in Chicago and the suburbs.

In the meantime, the Cook County Clerk's office has received more than 84,000 requests for mail-in ballots. The deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot is March 14, and ballots must be completed and postmarked by Election Day on March 19.

At this point in both the 2020 and 2016 presidential primaries, Chicago election officials saw about 1,900 early votes. As of Monday, more than 2,700 early votes had been cast in this year's primary, so officials are optimistic about turnout.

More than 1.7 million people are registered to vote in the primary, an increase from 2020, when more than 1.5 million registered to vote in the primary.

One topic on your ballot is still up in the air: the so-called Bring Chicago Home referendum, which asks voters to authorize the City Council to increase taxes on the sale of million-dollar properties and use the tax revenue to help the homeless.

Last month, a Cook County judge ruled the referendum invalid, but primary election ballots were printed before the judge ruled. It remains on the ballot for now, but no votes will be counted unless the judge's decision is overturned on appeal.

"We can only follow orders from the court, and the court at this time has ordered us to not count those votes. So it's still proceeding to the [Illinois] Appellate Court and possibly the [Illinois] Supreme Court. So, we will just follow what the court says. If the court continues to tell us to repress those votes, we will do that, we will not count them, but we are telling voters, if you would have normally voted on that referendum, to please continue to do so because we don't ultimately know what the court will say and order us to do," said Marisel Hernandez, chair of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.

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