In Chicago, the old saying used to go, “Vote early — and vote often” .. and from the looks of this blocks-long line Thursday morning they still do at least one.
Chicago voters lined up for the first day of early voting for the presidential election, with footage showing at least 50 socially distanced people waiting for the polls to open.
“Here’s the line thirty minutes before the polls opened,” attorney Trisha Rich tweeted, depicting a blocks-long line with several people sitting in lawn chairs and a couple reading books.
The line queued up along Chicago’s famous raised train track, the “L”, and resembled similarly long early-voting lines in northern Virginia last month, indicating voter enthusiasm in the presumed Joe Biden strongholds.
Voters in line were spaced widely apart due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rich wrote she was the first person to vote and gave her tweet the anti-President Trump hashtags #VoteHimOut and #BidenHarris2020.
The Chicago Tribune reported that at least one voting site witnessed a long line when it opened at 8:30 am.
Despite the early burst in balloting, city voters will have plenty of opportunities to vote in person. Early voting stations are open every day until the election, 8:30 am to 7 pm Monday-Friday and 9 am to 5 pm on weekends, according to the Tribune.
Illinois is reliably Democratic in presidential elections and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, a Democrat up for reelection, is not believed to be at serious risk of losing to Republican Mark Curran. The state most recently voted for a GOP presidential candidate in 1988.
In other states voting has been underway for weeks with a dramatic uptick in absentee balloting, in addition to early voting.
Illinois is not among the nine states — plus Washington, DC — that are automatically sending ballots to all registered voters over Trump’s objections.
Ballots are being mass-mailed in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Utah, Vermont and Washington state.
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