GENEVA – Voter turnout for the March 17 primary election was 24.55%, as 74,978 people voted out of 329,078 registered, according to Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham.
And twice as many Democrats voted as Republicans voted, Cunningham said.
The county has 56,645 registered Democrats and 79.73% of them voted Tuesday. There are 65,091 registered Republicans and only 32.68% of them voted, Cunningham said.
“Democrats – they had an exciting primary,” Cunningham said.
With presidential hopefuls down to a primary contest between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders – Biden won Illinois – Cunningham said Democrats were more motivated to vote.
“The Republican party actually had no presidential fight,” Cunningham said. “The
biggest race was the 14th Congressional District."
Seven hopefuls vied for the GOP nomination to run against incumbent U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville. State Sen. Jim Oberweis won – but in Kane County, only 1,402 ballots were cast, 11.07% of the 126,551 registered voters in the 104 precincts in that district, according to clerk records online.
"And it’s a shame every time we have this low turnout,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham speculated that the COVID-19 virus also may have kept older voters away from the polling places.
More people voted in the 2016 primary, 94,994 or 41.27 percent voted of the 230,189 registered voters, clerk statistics on past elections show.
In the 2014 primary, 37,790 people or 17.1 percent voted of 220,932 registered voters, according to the clerk's office statistics.
In a news release from his office that notes election results are not yet final, preliminary results indicate that nearly half of votes cast in Tuesday’s election were cast through Early Voting and Vote by Mail ballots.
More than 29,000 early votes were cast in the primary election, far exceeding the 18,281 early votes cast in the 2016 General Primary. Over 3,100 Vote by Mail ballots have been received so far, which broke the record for a primary election of 1,789 in 2018, the release stated.
“I would like to encourage voters to consider voting by mail in the Nov. 3, general election,” Cunningham stated in the release. “While we hope this virus will have subsided by the fall, voters who choose to Vote by Mail can vote from home and avoid public interaction on election day. Vote by Mail ballot requests can be made as early as August for the November election.”