Early voting a big hit in Kane County, Aurora
The time period for early voting is five days shorter than it was in 2008, but tallies so far in Kane County show that this election could rival the early voting record set in November 2008 of about 56,000.
As of early Monday, at least 23,289 people had voted in Kane County and Aurora. Early voting ends Saturday for the Nov. 6 election.
"I was thinking earlier if we got 30,000 (early) voters, we'd be happy. I think we'll be right in the area (for the record)," Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham said.
Cunningham said that as of the early afternoon Monday, 20,951 early votes had been cast out of about 223,000 registered voters. "If we get 2,000 more (votes today), 10 percent of the (voting) population will have voted already," he said.
Cunningham said about 50,000 early votes were cast in the Nov. 4, 2008, election.
In that same election, 6,156 early votes were cast in Kane County areas of Aurora, said Linda Fechner, executive director of the Aurora Election Commission.
Fechner said that 2,338 early votes had been cast so far, and in this election, people can vote closer to Election Day after it began Oct. 22.
"I think it's right on target," she said, noting that in 2008, there were 18 days of early voting compared to 13 in the 2012 election because of a change in state law. "You lose a week at first but gain three days at the end (closer to the election)."
Overall, there are nearly two dozen places in Kane County where people may vote early. All that is needed is a government-issued photo ID.
The top two places for early votes so far are the Kane County Branch Court, 530 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, and the County Clerk's Office, 719 S. Batavia Ave., Geneva, Cunningham said.
Fechner said her office also anticipates at least 1,000 "no fault" absentee ballots to be cast. These are available to voters at the Aurora Election Commission office, 323 E. Galena Blvd., and the voter does not need to state a reason for the ballot, which is returned by mail. Aurora residents also may vote early at the commission office or Aurora Public Library's Eola Branch, 555 Eola Road.
Last Friday afternoon, Cunningham said 15,502 early votes had been cast, but he was doubtful the 50,000 mark set in 2008 would be eclipsed.
"Things pick up when you get closer to the last day," Cunningham said. "I think (2008) was the Obama phenomenon. I think it's cooled off a bit."