03/29/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Early Voting Numbers Tank: Down Considerably From 2008

For the 2008 primary, voters stood in long lines to fill out their ballots early. This year--not so much: early voting is down considerably.

Those wanting to cast their vote early for the February 2 primary have until Thursday to do so, but the Chicago Tribune reports that, so far, numbers are way down:

In Chicago, only about 27,000 of the city's 1.5 million registered voters have cast an early ballot since that option became available Jan. 11. That's a dramatic drop from 2008, when hometown pride for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama spurred 81,000 city voters to the polls before the primary.

The news isn't all bad, however. While Obama's candidacy was exciting for Chicagoans compared to current races, the numbers are still up from when early voting became available in 2006--when only 14,000 people took advantage.

In the Cook County suburbs, almost 22,000 people voted early out of 1.4 million registered voters, the Tribune reports. The suburban numbers are also down from 2008, but up from 2006.

If you want to beat the rush on voting day, you have until Thursday to do so, just bring a government-issued photo ID and a political opinion.

For information on early voting locations in the city, go here. Suburbs? Here.