02/17/2011 01:03 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Chicago Early Voting Ends Thursday For Mayoral, City Elections

For the first time in most of our lives, Chicagoans are voting to fill an open seat on the Fifth Floor. Along with the hotly contested mayoral race, there are contentious battles being fought in many of the city's 50 wards to shape the City Council that will work with -- or perhaps stand up to -- the future mayor. City clerk and treasurer are also up for grabs, although the latter has essentially already been grabbed, with Stephanie Neely running unopposed in that race.

Long story short, next Tuesday's election is a monumental one. But if you don't want to wait in the potentially monumental lines at the polls next week, today's your last chance to get some early voting done.

Polling places in all fifty wards are open until 5 p.m. today. If you're registered to vote in the city, all you have to do is bring a valid photo ID to the polls. And all the ballot information is electronic, so you don't even have to vote in your ward -- if you're at work in a different part of the city than the one you call home, and want to slip out to cast a ballot during your lunch break, no worries. Just find the closest polling location, and they'll get you the ballot for your neighborhood.

For more information, and to see a map of early voting locations, check out our early voting guide here.