485K of Illinois' 8M registered voters cast ballots early

- Illinois State Board of Elections officials say over 6 percent of Illinois' record 8 million active registered voters have already cast their ballots with a little more than a week to go until Election Day.

The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers (http://bit.ly/2e4TbeQ ) reports over 485,400 Illinois residents had voted in the Nov. 8 election as of Thursday morning either by mail, in person or using grace period registration, which allows people to register and cast their ballots simultaneously.

In 2012, the last presidential election year, nearly 16 percent of active registered voters cast their ballots before Election Day, representing 22 percent of the nearly 5.3 million votes.

Elections board spokesman Jim Tenuto says early voting has become increasingly popular as Illinois has expanded opportunities for people to cast ballots ahead of time.

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