Afternoon Briefing: Primary day turnout in Illinois so far

Good afternoon, Chicago.

Polling places for Illinois’ primary elections opened early this morning, and despite contested congressional races, an expensive Cook County state’s attorney’s matchup and a rare referendum, officials are expecting low voter turnout with the presidential nominees for the November general election virtually locked in.

As of last night, the city had recorded more than 157,000 early votes through in-person or mail-in ballots. That figure compares with about 244,000 votes that were cast in the city by the day before the 2020 primary. Roughly 109,000 mail-in ballots had yet to be returned, Chicago Board of Elections Chair Marisel Hernandez told reporters this morning when polls opened. Despite a slow start in early voting, which increased in the 2016 and 2020 presidential election years, officials expect roughly 50% of votes to be cast on Election Day and remain hopeful for higher turnout numbers.

After the polls close at 7 p.m., we will have live reporting as votes are counted. Follow along here.

And here’s what else is happening today. And remember, for the latest breaking news in Chicago, visit and sign up to get our alerts on all your devices.

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