The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners anticipates that Early Voting is not likely to start on January 17, which is 40 days before Election Day. The number of candidate objections is average, but the newer law that provides the 40-day schedule for Early Voting is not workable.
The Board will announce a start date as soon as the ballot is settled. If Early Voting is delayed, voters who arrive at the Loop Super Site for Early Voting at 175 W. Washington on January 17 will receive Vote By Mail applications or have the option to return at a later date.
The delay is likely to affect only the start of Early Voting at the Loop Super Site. The traditional Early Voting program – with locations in all 50 wards – will begin Feb. 11 using the standard schedule of 15 days before Election Day.
The newer 40-day schedule proved unworkable before the March 2016 Primary and again, ahead of the March 2018 Primary. Both times, Early Voting began after the scheduled start date in many Northern Illinois jurisdictions. Prior to 2016, Early Voting began 15 days before Election Day.
Historically, more than 60% of all Early Voting ballots have been cast in the final week of Early Voting, whether the schedule was 15 days or 40 days.
Candidate “punch numbers” due Jan. 4
The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners planned to release candidate “punch numbers” on or about January 4 for the Municipal Election.
After the “punch numbers” are released, the numbers will remain unchanged even in contests where candidates withdraw or are removed from the ballot. The same punch numbers also will be used in any run-off elections, where needed.