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United Center Is The Busiest Polling Place In Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) -- This could be the largest election turnout in U.S. history.

CBS News is reporting over 101 million ballots have been cast so far.

Evidence of that big turnout is at the United Center, with long lines of voters stretching out the doors and around the stadium. CBS 2's Meredith Barack reports the UC is the busiest polling place in the city of Chicago.

Typically when you see a long line outside the United Center, it's for a Bulls or Blackhawks game. As of 2:00 Tuesday afternoon, the United Center had two times more ballots cast than any other site in the city. It has only been open to voters since 6:00 Tuesday morning. The city overall, currently on track to reach more than 70% voter turnout.

It's been a while since the United Center has been packed with this many people. March 11 to be exact, when the Chicago Blackhawks hosted the San Jose Sharks.

"My local polling place is just five minutes away, but I wanted to come here because I  haven't been to the United Center in six months," said John Schmit.

Green Bay Packers fan John Schmit was in line behind rival Chicago Bears fan Dwayne Dougherty.

"I procrastinated. I'm from another part of the city, so since I came from work. I was closer to here by my job so I decided to come and vote because it's a right to vote and I want to take advantage of that," said Dougherty.

The two 60-something year olds striking up a conversation despite their different tastes in football teams. It's a small sample of the overall energetic and friendly atmosphere.

"Very fun. They're playing music, people are handing out snacks and water. There's all these great organizations making sure everyone is comfortable and willing to stick around and vote which I think is really important," said voter Connor Kelly.

Kelly opted to represent team USA because he said he's voting for America.

"A lot of people are showing up. I think it's a great demonstration of what people believe in and the importance of voting," said Kelly.

More than one million people have voted in Chicago, which equates to a 65% voter turnout.


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