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Voter Turnout in the 2020 Election Could Shatter Several Records

The 2020 election cycle has already broken multiple records in the Chicagoland area, and once all the votes are counted, could set a few others. 

An early voting supersite in the Chicago Loop during the 2018 election. Photo by Aaron Cynic.

The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners estimated Tuesday afternoon that nearly 1 million people had already cast ballots. Polls are open from 6:00am to 7:00pm. Election officials told the Chicago Tribune that voter turnout in the city could be as high as 75 percent. 

Turnout is highest among 25-34 year-olds, followed by 35-44 year-olds.

Both Chicago and Illinois also shattered early voting records this election cycle, according to state election officials, who estimate that 43 percent of people had already voted before election day on Tuesday. 

“Early turnout has been incredible, and we are so excited so many Chicagoans are exercising their right to vote,” said Marisel Hernandez, chairwoman of the city’s Board of Election Commissioners, in an online press conference on Monday. 

According to the Board of Elections, at least 336,450 Chicago residents cast in person ballots early, and another 401,605 voted by mail. Suburban Cook County also set a record, with 430,000 mail in ballots returned. 

More than 3.6 million Illinoisans cast their ballots before polls opened on Tuesday, with 1.83 million voting early in person and another 1.76 million turning in their ballots by mail. There are some 8.3 million Illinoisans registered to vote for the 2020 general election. 

The previous record was set during the 2016 presidential election, when 1.8 million people voted early, with 1.5 voting in person and 370,740 voting by mail. 

Voter turnout on a national level could also shatter records.

According to the US Elections Project, more than 101 million people across the country cast early ballots, with 35.9 million people voting early in person, and another 65.2 million mailing in ballots. More than 26.8 million mail in ballots are still outstanding. According to USA Today, the 2020 election could surpass more than 150 million eligible voters casting ballots overall, which would be the most votes cast by percentage since 1908.

Polls are open until 7pm Tuesday evening. 

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