Voting starts Monday in the runoff contests for Chicago mayor and 14 City Council seats.
Election Day is April 4. But if the second round of voting is anything like the first, more than half of all votes could be cast well before polls officially open.
Fueled by changes made during the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of votes cast by mail soared by nearly 20% in the 2023 election as compared to the 2019 election, according to data from the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.
In both elections, approximately 23% of all votes were cast in person before Election Day, according to election data.
That means less than 48% of all votes were cast on Election Day, giving Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas, the top two finishers in the Feb. 28 mayoral contest, an incentive to get their supporters to the polls early — but not often.
More than 35.8% of Chicago voters cast a ballot in that election, slightly more than in 2019, results show.
All Chicagoans can cast their votes at the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners supersite at 191 N. Clark St. and the board’s office at 69 W. Washington St., 6th floor. Early voting sites are also open in each of Chicago’s 50 wards.
The 14 City Council races that will be decided by a runoff are:
- 4th Ward: Lamont Robinson v. Prentice Butler
- 5th Ward: Desmond Yancy v. Martina Hone
- 6th Ward: William Hall v. Richard Wooten
- 10th Ward: Peter Chico v. Ana Guajardo
- 11th Ward: Nicole Lee v. Anthony Ciaravino
- 21st Ward: Ronnie Mosley v. Cornell Dantzler
- 24th Ward: Monique Scott v. Creative Scott
- 29th Ward: Chris Taliaferro v. CB Johnson
- 30th Ward: Jessica Gutiérrez v. Ruth Cruz
- 36th Ward: Gilbert Villegas v. Lori Torres Whitt
- 43rd Ward: Timmy Knudsen v. Brian Comer
- 45th Ward: Jim Gardiner v. Megan Mathias
- 46th Ward: Angela Clay v. Kim Walz
- 48th Ward: Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth v. Joe Dunne.
Voting will take place at all locations from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays through April 3, officials said. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on April 4.
Those unsure about whether their ward has changed can look up their address on the city’s website.
Read More: WTTW News Explains: What Happens to Your Ballot After You Vote?
Chicago voters, regardless of their address, can register to vote and cast a ballot at any early voting location through Election Day. Two forms of government-issued identification, one of which shows the voter’s current address, are needed to register for the first time or to file a name change or update an address, officials said.
All Chicago voters can also cast their ballot by mail, with applications due by March 30. Completed mail ballots can be dropped off at any early voting location. Already requested mail ballots are now on their way to voters, officials said.
Voters can cast a ballot at their assigned precinct polling place on Election Day, or head to an early voting location in each of Chicago’s 50 wards, which will remain open as vote centers on Election Day, officials said. Voters can also go to the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners supersite at 191 N. Clark St.
Find your Election Day polling place here.
Completed mail ballots can be dropped off on Election Day at any of the vote centers or the board’s office at 69 W. Washington St., 6th floor.
Mail ballots must be postmarked no later than April 4 and arrive by April 18 to be counted, officials said.
Those who receive a mail ballot but wish to vote in person should take the ballot they got in the mail to any early voting site or their precinct polling place and surrender it to an election judge. They will then be issued a new ballot, officials said.
The election is the first to reflect the ward map drawn by members of the City Council to reflect the results of the 2020 census.
Chicagoans can register to vote, or update their name or address, on Election Day and cast a ballot at any early voting location or precinct polling place, as long as they have two forms of government-issued identification, one of which shows the voter’s current address, officials said.
Contact Heather Cherone: @HeatherCherone | (773) 569-1863 | [email protected]