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'If I'm living, I'm voting' | Illinois residents head to the polls for primary amid COVID-19 pandemic

Illinois officials deciding not to postpone Tuesday's vote despite concerns about low turnout

ST. LOUIS — It's primary day in Illinois, and despite several coronavirus related cancellations, the polls opened as usual.

"If I'm living, I'm voting," said voter Paul Jenkins.

Tuesday voters like Paul took to the polls prepared, with masks, gloves
and even their own supplies.

"Actually, brought my own pen," said Jenkins.

In preparation, election officials throughout the Metro East are going above and beyond their typical call of duty. Some of them even provided their own sanitizer.

RELATED: Get live primary results here

"My big thing is here's your sticker and here's sanitizer. So, when they're walking out the door they feel like they're not taking anything they might've gotten here with them," said election official Jennifer Flores.

Illinois officials deciding not to postpone Tuesday's vote despite concerns about low turnout.

"If we delayed the election, it is unclear when we might be able to hold another one," Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said.

RELATED: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine issues order closing gyms, movie theaters and indoor parks

Poll workers told 5 On Your Side they had seen a steady flow of voters as of Tuesday afternoon.

"It's been steady, hasn't been a real rush or real slow, kind of steady," said one election official.

"They're used to having a lot more people coming, usually the older generation always comes through in the primaries," said another official.

Volunteers working the polls said because of the virus, many people chose to vote by mail. But they're encouraging anyone who did not to come in, if they can.

"When the election comes around, you need to get out and vote because you can't sit back and don't vote then complain about it," one election official said.

Polls are open until 7 p.m.

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