Our Opinion

Technically, Election Day has arrived—and there’s not a minute to waste.

Early voting in Chicago begins Thursday, Oct. 1, and continues through the official Election Day, which is Nov. 3.

The Loop Super Site, 191 N. Clark St., is the only location open until Oct. 14, when sites in all 50 wards will open.

In the 19th Ward, the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., will be the site of early voting.

Voters can use any location in the city, and a list of all the early-voting locations is available at the Chicago Board of Elections Commissioners (CBEC) website at chicagoelections.gov.

All the sites will be open seven days a week.

CBEC officials are encouraging citizens to vote by mail or use early-voting sites due to COVID-19.

This year, secured drop boxes with date/time stamps will be located at every early-voting site for voters to submit their ballot-return envelope.

Registration services are available at every early-voting site.

Voters must apply to receive a vote-by-mail ballot, and applications are being sent in the mail to millions of voters in the state. More information is available at chicagoelections.gov and the Illinois State Board of Elections website at elections.il.gov.

This year’s election will be historic—and vitally important—for many reasons. Due to the public health crisis, voters may be hesitant to vote in person.

Mail-in voting could increase, and as the country awaits the arrival of those ballots, election results might not be known until after Nov. 3.

The presidential election, of course, is at the top of everyone’s mind, but several local races will be closely watched, including those for Cook County state’s attorney, U.S. Congress and state representative.

Seemingly, in every presidential election, candidates claim to voters that this is “the most important election in the history of our country.” However, it really feels that way this year with the country so divided.

No one should be criticized for not casting a ballot, but voters should do their homework in researching the candidates and their voting options.

People have over a month to make their choice. If they want to vote, safe options are available.

Early voting began elsewhere in the state on Sept. 24. In Chicago, CBEC officials are advising voters to adhere to social-distance guidelines when voting in person or dropping off their ballots.

People should also remain civil at the polls. We hope they are informed about the candidates—and how they can vote—as “Election Month” begins.