Chicago area could see nearly 2-week delay of early voting


Election officials say early voting could be delayed by nearly two weeks for millions of Chicago-area voters because of candidate ballot challenges.

Early voting starts statewide Thursday, Feb. 8. However, Chicago Board of Election Commissioners spokesman Jim Allen said Monday that because of ongoing candidate objections, ballots won’t be ready on time. He estimates balloting systems will be tested and available by Feb. 21, possibly earlier.

Early voting will begin at 53 suburban Cook County sites on March 5, the Cook County clerk’s office said in a statement Monday, with some in-person early voting options opening on Feb. 21 when most ballot challenges should be settled.

“The in-person voting period in Illinois can begin at election officials’ offices as early as Feb. 8, but ballots will not be available here or in many areas due to the ongoing disputes in the courts and before electoral boards,” the statement said.

Roughly 3 million registered voters in Chicago and suburban Cook County will be affected.

It’s unclear which other locations may delay. State Board of Elections spokesman Matt Dietrich says the decision is up to each jurisdiction.

One objection involves the statewide attorney general race. A judge determined last week that Scott Drury’s name can’t appear on ballots for the March 20 primary over paperwork issues. Drury has appealed.

Associated Press

CHICAGO NEWS 02/05/2018, 02:33pm