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