Early voting

The number of Illinois residents who have voted ahead of Election Day has broken state records and is still growing.

The State Board of Elections released totals Monday showing the number of voters who cast in-person ballots through Sunday was approaching 1.3 million.

That surpasses the roughly 1 million who did so in 2008 and the nearly 1.2 million in 2012.

The figure is even higher when all ballots, including those by mail, are counted. The total number of Illinois residents who've already voted is more than 1.6 million.

More than 4,000 people have voted already in Winnebago County, according to County Clerk Margie Mullins. She says it’s been the highest turnout in all the years of early voting.

And Boone County has ballots from more than 2,100 early voters -- not including ballots that have been mailed out. 

Boone County Clerk and Recorder Mary Steurer says she hopes more people who may be thinking about voting early will beat the potential Election Day crowds.

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Illinois State Board of Elections officials say more than 6 percent of Illinois' record 8 million active registered voters have already cast their ballots with a little more than a week to go until Election Day.

The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports more than 485,400 Illinois residents had voted in the Nov. 8 election as of Thursday morning either by mail, in person or using grace period registration, which allows people to register and cast their ballots simultaneously.

"VOTE" By Flickr User Theresa Thompson / (CC X 2.0)

Illinois election officials say the number of registered active voters in the state is at its highest since 1970.

Illinois State Board of Election spokesman Jim Tenuto said Tuesday morning that there are 7.9 million registered active voters in the state. That's more than the 7.8 million who were registered in 2008 before then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois successfully ran for president.

That number was the previous high.

CREDIT FLICKR USER / KRISTIN_A (MERINGUE BAKE SHOP) "VOTE!" (CC BY 2.0)

Regular voter registration in Illinois has closed. The last day was Tuesday.

But there are other options if you need to register for the first time, or have moved and need to update your information.

Online voter registration is available; there’s a link at the Illinois State Board of Election’s website until Oct. 23.

Jim Tenuto, assistant director of the board, recommends casting an early vote if you want to avoid election-day lines.

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