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CHICAGO (AP) - Parts of Illinois reported a slow start to early voting, but Cook County's suburbs saw an uptick.
 
Cook County Clerk David Orr's office said Tuesday that 2,354 people cast ballots Monday, the start of early voting for March 18's primary. In 2010's primary, nearly 1,300 suburbanites cast first day ballots. In 2012, it was roughly 2,100.
 
Orr's office covers over 120 municipalities excluding Chicago. The region has previously reported a higher turnout than Illinois' average.
 
About 8 percent of Illinois voters cast early ballots in 2010 and 2012 primaries. In suburban Cook, 9.5 percent voted early in 2010. More than 11 percent did in 2012.
 
Orr's office says availability of suburban early voting sites might explain the turnout. There are 43. Chicago has 51.
 
Early voting ends March 15.
Published in Local News
   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Early voting begins for the March 18 primary begins across Illinois on Monday.
   At the top of the ballot on the Republican side is the race for U.S. Senate, where state Sen. Jim Oberweis and businessman Doug Truax are facing off.
   State Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard, Winnetka businessman Bruce Rauner and state Treasurer Dan Rutherford, meanwhile, are vying to be the GOP nominee for governor.
   On the Democratic side, Gov. Pat Quinn is seeking re-election against little-known challenger Tio Hardiman.
   There also are scores of contested races for U.S. Congress and for the Legislature.
   Voters are required by state law to show a government-issued ID before they can receive a ballot. The last day to vote early is March 18.
 
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A special panel created by Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander is recommending that the state allow early voting and expand absentee voting by mail.

The bipartisan commission released its recommendations Thursday for overhauling Missouri's voting laws.

Missouri now allows people to vote by mail only if they meet certain conditions, such as a disability or absence from their district on election day. The commission says voters should be allowed to mail their ballots without such restrictions.

It also recommends requiring all local election authorities to establish one location where voters can cast ballots in-person beginning six weeks before election day. For presidential elections, highly-populated areas would be required to establish an additional polling place for early voting.

The 11-member commission is made up of local election authorities, attorneys and former lawmakers.
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander has assembled a panel of county clerks and other officials to help shape a policy allowing for early voting.

Missouri now lets voters cast absentee ballots only if they swear they cannot go to the polls on Election Day or meet other, limited criteria. But the state has no general provision for early voting, which Kander says could help ease long lines at the polls.

Kander's appointed commission will meet throughout February to study the merits of early voting and evaluate what he says would be the efficient, fair and secure way to allow the practice.

Besides county clerks, the panel also includes former state lawmakers, the mayor of Joplin, a county elections director and private citizens.
Published in Local News

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