Will County — Early voting and vote-by-mail totals are giving mixed signals on what turnout may be for an unusual summer primary election date on Tuesday.
Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day itself, although nearly 21,000 people have voted already.
While mail-in voting became a preferable option during the COVID-19 pandemic and early voting has been growing in popularity, only a fraction of Will County’s 455,035 registered voters have submitted a ballot so far.
Mail-in voting has continued to prove popular but early voting was down late last week when Charles B. Pelkie, chief of staff for Will County Clerk Lauren Staley Ferry, discussed the numbers.
“Lauren’s perspective is that the summer election has thrown voters off a bit, but there is a strong interest in vote by mail,” Pelkie said.
Early voters may have been voting early but late.
Since Thursday, the number of early voting ballots has nearly doubled from 5,619 to 10,758, according to numbers posted on the clerk’s website.
Mail-in voting remained consistently strong. The clerk’s office had 10,202 mail-in ballots as of Monday, which compares to 8,345 on Thursday. More mail-in ballots may be arriving since 18,557 have been requested.
The mail-in ballots are more than double what they were in the 2018 primary and are even up from what they were in the 2020 primary election.
The 2000 primary was in a presidential election year, which typically stimulates voter interest. The Illinois governor’s race has been the most hotly contested race this year with heavy advertising in the Republican primary among candidates seeking to run against Gov. JB Pritzker in November.