So far there's been a heavy turnout of early voters in both Madison and St. Clair counties, with the totals on track to match the big numbers from 2008.
In Madison County, about 19,000 people -- or nearly 11 percent of more than 177,000 registered voters -- have so far voted early in the nearly two weeks since the early voting period began. Another 10,000 voters are expected to cast ballots by the time the early voting deadline falls Saturday afternoon, said Mark Von Nida, the Madison county clerk.
"We expect Saturday to be a big day," Von Nida said.
In St. Clair County, 16,000 people -- or about 10 percent of 164,000 registered voters -- have so far voted early, with another 4,000 expected to vote before the Saturday afternoon deadline, said Bob Delaney, the county clerk.
"It's coming along really good and a lot of people are taking advantage of it," Delaney said.
People voted early in huge numbers in the 2008 election because it was a historic election, giving them the chance to elect the first African-American president, Delaney said.
"I think now people just like to vote early," he said. "Because they don't have to worry about it, they can do what they want Tuesday, or if it's raining they have to get out, they don't have to worry about standing in line."
In Madison County, voters with photo ID may vote between noon and 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the county's 13 satellite voting offices.
At Madison County's administration building, in Edwardsville, early voting is set to take place between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday.
In Delaney's office at the St. Clair County Public Building, early voting is set to take place between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and between 8:30 a.m. and noon Saturday.
Contact reporter Mike Fitzgerald at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2533.