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Election Turnout Forecast Around 50 Percent

CHICAGO (WBBM) -- Chicago Election Board Chairman Langdon Neal says late campaigning has sparked voter interest to the point where he predicts turnout on Tuesday could reach 50 percent.

Neal and County Clerk David Orr both say absentee ballot applications have doubled. But they warn anyone who does not have an absentee ballot, ready to mail and have postmarked by Nov. 1, should vote in person at the polling place Nov. 2.

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Neal has seen fewer complaints about pre-election shenanigans--like campaign signs being ripped down or placed too close to voting places

Neal says he believes that's because much of the election process has moved to electronic media like broadcasting and the Internet.

Neal notes Chicago will have over 2,000 high school and 2,000 college students, working this election, participating in process. He said no other city comes close to that and says he hopes this will begin the process of getting young people re-energized in the political process.

Neal also said because of a law change this summer, there are now early voting stations in Chicago State, Northeastern Illinois, and University of Illinois at Chicago, for the first time.

Orr also says he's hoping for a turnout of registered voters over 50 percent. He says those who want to know which way the governor's race is going should watch results from suburban Cook County. He says voters there have correctly picked the governor's race every four years since 1990.

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