- Associated Press - Monday, October 20, 2014

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) - Thousands of voters have cast early ballots in Chicago’s suburbs.

It’s been a critical region in previous elections, and campaigns in hotly-contested races are pushing early voting.

Cook County Clerk David Orr’s website showed more than 8,000 ballots cast in the suburbs Monday, the first day of early voting. Village halls in Arlington Heights and Des Plaines are among hundreds of early voting locations open through Nov. 2.

Some county clerks in Illinois reported similar turnout to years past with a steady stream of voters.

Republican Bob Ruffatto of Arlington Heights says he’s concerned with Illinois’ unsolved problems like debt. He voted for Republican Bruce Rauner, who’s challenging Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.

But Democrat Josephine Dobner of Des Plaines voted for Quinn, saying she believes in her party’s principles.

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