As DuPage County enters its final hours of voting, election officials said they are expecting turnout to reach levels seen in the last three presidential elections.
"We checked in with polling places around 2 p.m., and from what we can tell turnout was around 55 percent," said Bob Saar, executive director of the DuPage County Election Commission.
In previous general elections, the voter turnout in DuPage County ranged from 74 to 77 percent, Saar said.
"We're still expecting the after-work crowd, so there's no reason to believe we won't reach that level—or maybe even exceed—by the time the polls close," he said.
Prior to Tuesday, about 80,000 DuPage County residents had taken part in early voting, Saar said. Counting absentee, military and grace-period voters, the total number of early voters topped 100,000.
Saar attributed some of the early numbers to an increase in grace-period voters. Prior to 2008, the grace period ended 28 days before Election Day. It was extended that year to the last Thursday before Election Day.
Last summer, the period was extended again to end the last Saturday before elections.
"With that extension, we saw more grace-period voters, I believe about 3,100," Saar said. Previously, DuPage County averaged about 1,300 grace period voters, he added.
As of 4 p.m., no major issues had been reported at DuPage County polling places, Saar said.
"Thankfully, everything has been mostly smooth sailing," he said. "We've had some minor things, like issues with electronic machines and electioneering, but that's to be expected."
Saar attributed the county's success Tuesday to "extensive training and planning."
"We focused a lot this year on the more technical aspects of polling, and were able to work out a lot of things ahead of Election Day," Saar said. "I think the efforts of our local election judges really need to be applauded."