By Bob Uphues
If you live in suburban Chicago and you're chomping at the bit to cast your ballot for local municipal, library board and school board races up for election on April 2, you can cast an early ballot at any one of more than 50 locations in the two weeks prior to Election Day.
Early voting sites in the Cook County suburbs – including one in the council chambers of the Brookfield Village Hall, 8820 Brookfield Ave. – will be open daily between March 18 and April 1.
The village hall will be open to voters Monday through Friday March 18-22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and March 25-29 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; on Saturday, March 23 and March 30 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; on Sunday, March 24 and March 31 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and on Monday, April 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
All early voting is conducted on touch screens, which store every ballot version in the county and allows suburban Cook County voters to cast early ballots at any suburban early voting location.
Registered voters do not need to provide an excuse for voting early, nor do they have to provide an ID, though the clerk's office notes a government-issued ID is helpful if there are questions about a voter's registration, address or signature.
In addition, people can register to vote at early voting sites, including Brookfield's. Anyone registering to vote for the first time or filing a change of address must present two forms of identification, one of which shows the voter's current address.
For more information on which forms of ID are acceptable, visit the Cook County Clerk's website at www.cookcountyclerk.com/service/when-voters-do-and-dont-need-identification-id.
Since it may be more convenient for area voters to cast early ballots near their workplaces or for other reasons, a full list of suburban early voting sites can be found at www.cookcountyclerk.com/service/early-voting-locations.
However, there are several locations near Brookfield that local voters may find just as convenient, including the following:
Berwyn City Hall, 6700 W. 26th St.
Cicero Community Center, 2250 S. 49th Ave.
Cicero PSO Building, 5410 W. 34th St.
Hodgkins Village Hall, 8990 Lyons St.
Stickney-Forest View Library, 6800 W. 43rd St.
Each election, more and more people are choosing to vote early. The Brookfield location saw a record number of people vote early prior to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, with 6,600 people casting ballots there prior to Election Day.
While the gubernatorial election of 2018 saw some fall off, there were still 6,017 ballots cast at the Brookfield early voting location. And that location saw its busiest single day ever on Nov. 5, 2018 – the day before Election Day – with 759 ballots cast.
The single biggest day for the 2016 election, also on the day prior to Election Day, was 702 ballots cast.