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Afternoon Edition: Nov. 3, 2020

Today’s update is a 5-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

A voter casts their vote on Election Day at Stone Scholastic Academy in West Rogers Park this morning.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 5-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.

Happy Election Day! It’s a beautiful afternoon to vote, if you haven’t already: sunny (and a little windy) with a high near 65 degrees. Tonight’s low will be around 46 degrees. Tomorrow will be just as nice: sunny with a high near 66 degrees.

Top story

Can’t wait to find out who won? You may have to — record mail votes could mean results ‘may not be known’ for a while

More than 3.6 million Illinoisans — or more than two out of five registered voters — have already cast their ballots for today’s election, but officials caution that some races — including the fate of the proposed graduated income tax amendment — “may not be known” for up to two weeks.

As of yesterday, more than 1.83 million people voted early in-person, and another 1.76 million had already returned their ballots by mail, ahead of an election some are calling one of the most important in history, according to figures from the Illinois Board of Elections.

With more than 8.3 million voters registered for the 2020 general election — which is, in itself, a record — state election officials estimated that 43% of registered voters already voted.

The numbers are double those of the last presidential election.

The state’s last records were set in 2016, when 1.8 million people voted ahead of Election Day — 370,740 by mail and a little over 1.5 million early and in-person.

This year, 2.35 million mail ballots had been sent to Illinois voters, meaning some 587,000 could still be returned. As long as they are postmarked no later than today and arrive within two weeks of Election Day, they will be counted and added to the official count.

Here’s where you’ll find our live election results as they roll in tonight.

“As mail ballots arrive in the days after Nov. 3, it is likely that close races may see leads change as results are reported,” according to the Illinois Board of Elections. “From 1976-2016, turnout in presidential elections in Illinois has averaged 73%. If statewide turnout for this election matches 2016’s 70.56%, 5.87 million votes will be cast.”

The city has also “shattered records” for its early voting, said Marisel Hernandez, chairwoman of the city’s Board of Election Commissioners. As of Sunday evening, 336,450 city residents have cast ballots in person since Oct. 1 and another 401,605 have voted by mail, according to figures released by the city’s Board of Elections.

The previous high was in the 2016 presidential election, with 94,000 mail ballots cast and over 325,000 early voters. By her 10 a.m. news conference yesterday, Hernandez said the number of early voters had shot up to 354,000 people.

Later that morning, the city reported 402,762 had returned their vote by mail ballot and 337,138 residents voted early, according to figures from the state’s election authority.

“Early turnout has been incredible, and we are so excited so many Chicagoans are exercising their right to vote,” Hernandez said in the online news conference.

“We expect to begin having results by 8 p.m. [at] the latest — we have historically had 90% of the results in by 10 p.m., and we’re hoping to do the same for this election,” Hernandez said.

Read Rachel Hinton’s full story here.

More news you need

  1. All day long, our reporters have been at the polls talking to voters about the election. One person we talked to voted for the first time today, another woke up at 4 a.m. to drive a long distance to her polling place and cast her ballot. Some are excited, and others are feeling an “extreme amount of dread.” Our live blog has more from Election Day in Chicago.
  2. The pandemic showed no sign of slowing down today as state health officials reported 6,516 new cases of COVID-19 and 68 additional deaths. The numbers mark the seventh day in a row the state has recorded more than 6,000 new cases.
  3. A total of 231 candles were lit on a lawn outside St. Mary of the Lake in the Buena Park yesterday — each representing 1,000 Americans killed thus far by COVID-19. “We’re prepared to add more, we don’t want to, but if we need to we have some more,” parishioner Terese Herbig said.
  4. Free food and discounts are up for grabs this Election Day regardless of whether you have an “I Voted” sticker. Here are deals from Krispy Kreme, McDonald’s, Planet Fitness and others.

A bright one

Election Day tense for one couple on opposite ends of political spectrum: ‘We just … agree to disagree’

At a time when politics have never been more divisive, Dan Anderson and Jennifer Kosharsky are learning to make it work.

Anderson and Kosharsky, who are engaged, are on opposite ends of the political spectrum.

Anderson voted for President Donald Trump today, while Kosharsky voted for Joe Biden. Kosharsky voted in favor of the proposed fair tax amendment, while Anderson voted “no.”

Anderson, 51, believes Trump’s first term as president has gone well. He pointed to the country’s economy as one example of why he believes that’s true, saying it’s “doing way better than it was before.”

Dan Anderson, 51, and Jennifer Kosharsky, 46, pose for a portrait after casting their ballots outside DePaul University’s Athletic Center in Lincoln Park this morning.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

While Anderson blamed the Democrats for making the country “very divisive” over the past four years and voiced his support for Trump, Kosharsky, 46, stood beside him shaking her head in disagreement.

“It’s appalling,” Kosharsky said. “I don’t know how anyone can be a Trump supporter, he’s the worst president ever, he’s just a horrible person.” Kosharsky said she’s not against voting Republican, however, “Trump was out of the question.”

Their political differences have been hard on their relationship. Politics has been a frequent conversation ahead of the election. But overall, they said they have a wonderful relationship.

“We just … agree to disagree,” Anderson said.

From the press box

Home for Election Day under an agreement between NFL teams and players, members of the Bears say they’re excited to vote – and they encouraged others to cast ballots, too.

The league is also trying to push for better social distancing on the sidelines by expanding the bench areas for teams and requiring players to wear masks while leaving the field following games.

Your daily question ☕

What would you put into your pandemic time capsule to give your future kids or grandkids an idea of what this has been like?

Email us (please include your first name and where you live) and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday, we asked you: What do you think will happen with tomorrow’s election? Here’s what some of you said…

“Biden will win. Everything will return to normalcy.” — Vishal Rai

“With certain states only allowed to start counting mail-in and absentee ballots tomorrow, it may take a week.” — Jill Esposito-Barron

“I honestly don’t know. Hoping for Biden, and I know there’s gonna be chaos no matter who wins. And that assumes we get a winner Tuesday night, which I’m not gonna hold my breath for.” — Tom Wray

“A lot of people will be counting for a long time and a lot of people will be waiting for a long time. That’s probably the extent of what happens tomorrow.” — Will Baro

“It will be very close but regardless of who wins, we have a long way to go before America gets back on track.” — Ashley Marie

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