Independent voters - or newly registered ones - are outpacing the number of registered Democrats and Republicans in early voting in St. Clair County.
According to County Clerk Bob Delaney, 7,197 Independents or new voters not yet identified by party preference, have already cast ballots either through early voting or absentee voting.
Primary elections determine a voter's affiliation because they have to choose particular ballots - most frequently Republican or Democrat.
Democrats outpace Republicans in early voting by more than two-to-one, Delaney said
He said that 6,448 Democrats have voted compared to 2,853 Republicans.
Four years ago when early voting was first put into practice, approximately 20,000 voters came out early, he said. To date, approximately 16,500 voters have cast ballots.
Early voting continues through Nov. 3, and can be done at the St. Clair County Courthouse, second floor, during normal business hours and on Saturday morning. Satellite locations for early voting include SWIC for students, Behavior School on Greenmount in Belleville, Centreville Township office in Centreville and the old YMCA in Cahokia, according to Delaney.