Mail-in ballots could be major factor in Chicago mayor’s race

CHICAGO --  Chicago's municipal election is less than 24 hours away, with a crowded mayoral field and 50 aldermanic seats up for grabs.

Fourteen candidates are vying to replace Mayor Rahm Emanuel who decided not to seek a third term.

With such a large field and low voter turnout expected, political analysts believe the contest may not be decided until the mail-in ballots are counted.

They must be postmarked by Tuesday, but could take days to come in.

If no candidate receives 50 percent of the vote, the top two finishers will have a runoff election in April.

The Board of Elections says just under 100,000 people have voted early as of yesterday.  That's more than at the same time in the 2015 and 2011 elections.

Of some concern, is the fact that only about 38,000 of the 62,000 ballots requested for mail in have been returned so far.

"It's been so hard for voters to make up their minds. So a lot of those individuals who requested a vote by mail ballot may still be undecided.  But the time is now," said Marisel Hernandez, Chair of the Chicago Board of Elections.

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