10/29/2012 04:03 pm ET

Chicago Early Voting Breaks More Records

Voters in Chicago and all around Cook County heeded at least part of the popular election season refrain, voting early in record numbers through the weekend.

The Board of Election Commissioners said Chicago had a record 21,800 ballots cast on Saturday following the first week of early voting, reports CBS Chicago.

For the first week, the number of early voter ballots cast was nearly 60 percent higher than in 2008.

Early voters in suburban Cook County also set a record the first day the option was available: On Oct. 22, more than 13,000 voters cast ballots, according to a statement by Cook County Clerk David Orr. Orr said a mere 7,733 ballots were cast on the first day of early voting in 2008.

Among the busiest suburban voting sites so far this election season are the Orland Township Hall, Arlington Heights Village Hall and Matteson Village Hall. As of Saturday, Mt. Greenwood Park in Mt. Greenwood was the city's busiest voting site with 3,172 ballots cast.

(Find early voting locations in Cook County and in the city of Chicago)

To help early voters beat long lines, the city's Board of Election Commissioners has also released traffic reports for each early voting location.

At the city's 51 early voting sites, polls are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day from Monday through Saturday, with voters able to cast ballots if they arrive by 5 p.m.

There's also a swift uptick in mail-in votes this year, toppling 2008 records, according to WGN. In Chicago, 23,000 votes have already been sent in after the first day of early voting, 1,000 more than four years ago. The suburbs saw 30,000 votes, up 3,000 from 2008.

President Obama did his part to help set new early voting records when he returned to his hometown to cast his ballot on the city's South Side last Thursday.