Ill. early voting slow, boost from COVID-19 fears possible

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A woman walks out of a booth after voting in the Virginia Democratic primary at the Hillsboro Old Stone School in Hillsboro, Virginia on March 3, 2020. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Early voting in Illinois for the March 17 primary is off to a slow start. But elections officials expect it to top the 520,000 early ballots cast in 2016. Two phenomena could play a role. Former Vice President Joe Biden’s dramatic comeback this past week in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination has cleared a previously crowded field.

More voters might now take early ballots to choose between Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. And the spread of COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus might prompt people to avoid polling place crowds and instead cast ballots early or by mail. 

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(This story was originally published on March 7, 2020)

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