Counting Down to Election Day

By Samantha Abernethy | Tuesday, February 15, 2011

We’re just one week from election day!

And if you want to beat the lines, the early voting polls are open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. until Thursday, Feb. 17.

If you haven’t registered to vote yet, today is your last day to participate in grace period voter registration at the Chicago Board of Elections office at 69 W. Washington St. until 5 p.m.

Regardless of where they are registered to vote, voters can use any of 51 polling stations at the Board of Elections offices and in all 50 wards. Besides the Welles Park field house, you can find other early voting locations here.

Voters have an opportunity to choose from the first slate of mayor candidates without a Daley since 1989, which has raised expectations for turnout with some campaigns are predicting as many as 1 million voters this year.

The 47th Ward has a surprise competitive election, as Ald. Eugene Schulter announced his retirement two weeks ago. This is the first time since 1975 that voters in the 47th Ward will not be able to vote for Eugene Schulter, as four new candidates are vying to succeed him.

33rd Ward Ald. Richard Mell and 40th Ward Ald. Pat O’Connor are both running uncontested.

The regular election day is Tuesday, Feb. 22. Run-offs for elections (both aldermanic and city-wide) that do not have a simple majority winner will be held on Tuesday, April 5.

UPDATE (2/15, 1 p.m.): A commenter reminded us of the absentee voting options. Today is also the last day to apply for an absentee ballot. Mail-in ballots must be postmarked Sat. Feb. 19 or earlier.

You can also vote absentee in person between Friday, Feb. 18 and Monday, Feb. 21. Click here for an application for an absentee ballot.

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  • http://www.google.com/profiles/100265985342099105321 Kevin Anderson

    Don’t forget the absentee/vote by mail option! From http://chicagoelections.com/page.php?id=169:
    NOTICE: The effective deadline for applying for an absentee ballot is Tues., Feb. 15. Voters must return their absentee ballots with a postmark of Sat., Feb. 19 or earlier because there will be no mail service on Sunday or on Monday (Presidents’ Day).

    Alternatives include:
    — Voting at your polling place on Election Day
    — Using Early Voting at any of the City’s 51 sites by Thurs., Feb. 17
    — In-Person Absentee Voting between Fri., Feb. 18 and Mon., Feb. 21 (details below) at the Election Board.

    Application for an absentee ballot http://www.chicagoelections.com/dm/general/document_399.pdf

    Under Illinois law, you no longer need a reason or excuse to vote absentee.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for your comment! I’m going to add this information to our post.

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