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Early Voting Kicks Off In Chicago In All 50 Wards

CHICAGO (CBS)--With less than three weeks until Election Day, early voting sites are now open in all 50 wards in Chicago.

In light of the pandemic, there's been a major push urging Americans to vote by mail or vote early for the Nov. 3 elections.

Two weeks ago, the only place you could vote early in Chicago was at the Loop Super Site. That changes starting today, as people can now vote early at any of 51 sites in Chicago – the Loop Super Site and early voting centers in all 50 wards.

So far, more than 13,300 people have voted early at the Loop Super Site. Long lines quickly formed this morning at many of the early voting sites that are now open.

This morning, at the 26th Ward early voting site, many people lined up even before the doors opened at 8:30 a.m. They said they didn't want to wait until the last minute to cast their ballot.

"Old school, you know? My parents and my forefathers. This is a privilege, and a right, and I'm not going to dishonor it by not voting," voter David McGowan said.

At the 25th Ward early voting site, local officials encouraged people to vote as soon as possible.

Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) urged people in the area to speak up for the immigrant community by making sure they vote this year.

"For everybody else who can vote, please exercise the right to vote early. We have just a few weeks to make sure that we make a difference in our communities. And please do not forget to fill out the Census tomorrow. This is a coalition that has been working for months, and we continue to make sure that we get people out to vote. Again, staying at home is not an option," he said.

Even if you're not registered to vote, you can still go any of the 50 early voting sites to register and then cast your ballot. To register, you'll need to bring two forms of ID, including one that lists your current address.

All 50 early voting sites in Chicago are open from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, and 9 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. They also will be open on Election Day from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

All early voting site locations are listed on the Chicago Board of Elections website.

Voting by mail has been extremely popular this year, with the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners receiving 497,640 vote by mail applications as of Wednesday morning, the most ever. That's more than quadruple the 118,000 vote by mail applications from the March primary. The previous record for voting by mail in a general election in Chicago was 116,117 applications in for the November 1944 election during World War II.

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