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Low Early Voting Turnout Expected

Cause: lack of “true” presidential Democratic contest.

Early voting began today and runs through March 15 at any of the 43 locations in Cook County, according to a press release from the Cook County Clerk’s office.

Early voting began in Illinois in 2006, so there is only one other presidential primary election to compare with to anticipate turnout, said Courtney Greve, spokesman for Cook County Clerk David Orr’s office.

Greve said because the county is largely Democratic, and this is not an election with an interesting Democratic contest for either governor or president, she expected early voting turnout to be low. That's in contrast to 2008 when more than 50,000 voters went to the polls in the primary.

“We don’t anticipate a high turnout because we don’t have a true Democratic contest for the presidential primary,” Greve said.

Earlier:

Primary Early Voting Ballots Percentage of Turnout that Voted Early March 2006 15,609 of 345,970 4.49% February 2008 51,116 of 585,449 8.73% February 2010 34,688 of 367,688 10.6% Source: Cook County Clerk's Office

Differences between 2010 and this year include that the voting location at Morton Grove Village Hall has been moved to Niles Village Hall for reasons of accessibility and size, Greve said. Also, five additional locations were designated to be open for early voting on weekends.

The locations open to voters on the weekend, in addition to the clerk’s office at 69 W. Washington St. in Chicago, are Arlington Heights Village Hall, Cicero PSO Building, Cicero Town Hall, Evanston Civic Center and Oak Lawn Village Hall.

Greve said the weekend locations were added after suburban courthouses were closed on weekends. The change was part of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s cost-saving plan, the Sun-Times reported.

Unlike on Election Day, voters can go to any of the locations in Cook County, including to the clerk’s office, to cast their primary ballots.

In Illinois, voters don’t register by party, but are required to choose a party when casting a ballot in a primary election.

Nearby early voting locations include:

  • Arlington Heights Village Hall, 33 S. Arlington Heights Road.
  • , 1420 Miner St.
  • Elk Grove Village Hall, 901 Wellington Ave.
  • , 2100 Ridge Ave.
  • , 1225 Waukegan Road.
  • Hoffman Estates Village Hall, 1900 Hassell Road.
  • , 1000 Civic Center Drive.
  • , 1225 Cedar Lane.
  • , 123 Madison St.
  • , 200 East Wood St.
  • Park Ridge City Hall, 505 Butler Place.
  • Rolling Meadows Courthouse, 2121 Euclid Ave.
  • Schaumburg Public Library, 130 S. Roselle Road.
  • , 5127 Oakton St.
  • , 5600 W. Old Orchard Road.

For a list of all the early voting locations and times, visit the Cook County Clerk’s website.

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