* Fifty bucks a vote? Wow…
Tuesday’s aldermanic runoff election was expected to cost Chicago taxpayers about $50 for each vote cast.
The chairman of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners said relatively few were turning out to cast ballots. Based on the number of votes cast as of 4 p.m., Langdon Neal said he foresaw a turnout of about 23 percent in the 14 wards conducting runoff elections
Neal estimated the runoff contests would cost taxpayers about $5 million, perhaps as much as $6 million. Divide that by the number of votes likely to be cast – about 100,000 of the 409,707 registered in the 14 wards. The result: the election was likely to cost about $50 a vote.
Neal estimated voter turnout would be barely 10-12 percent in South Side wards 15 and 16. The highest turnout was expected to be just above 30 percent in North Side wards 41, 43 and 50.
February’s first round saw a 43 percent Chicago turnout.
* But if Chicago’s ward average of 23 percent turnout was bad, others were worse…
Kane County voters have set an election record, but it is not an achievement County Clerk Jack Cunningham is proud of.
Voter turnout was about 13.17 percent – a new low, he said. According to online county records, the prior record was 19.34 percent, which was set in 1987.
Voter turnout in DeKalb County for Tuesday’s consolidated election was 11.53 percent, according to unofficial results from the county clerk’s office. Of the 57,823 registered voters in the county, 6,668 voted Tuesday.
. Despite changes in Illinois law that allow people to vote in a more convenient time and manner, less than one in 10 registered voters showed up in Aurora. Less than one in 8 showed up in Kane County.
Voter turnout in McHenry County might have hit an all-time low.
Only 12.55 percent of the 202,494 registered voters in McHenry County cast their vote in Tuesday’s election, McHenry County Clerk Katherine Schultz said.
Tuesday’s election saw only 2,081 ballots cast or 11% of Niles’ 18,769 registered voters.
Just under 15 percent of Lake County’s registered voters cast ballots Tuesday
* The low turnout may have had a big impact in DuPage County…
While a historic number of DuPage County voters took the day off from the political process on Tuesday, the few who went to the polls made their opinions very clear.
The small electorate ousted incumbents, ignored the endorsements of entrenched local political parties and rejected any hint of a tax increase.
“There was an anti-incumbent wave even though voter turnout was low,” said Phillip Hardy, an assistant political science professor at Benedictine University in Lisle.
Only 16.4 percent of DuPage’s 559,603 eligible voters cast ballots on Tuesday — the lowest percentage in the 30-year history of the county’s consolidated elections.
* The SJ-R editorialized today against the city’s weird primary system, which, under state law, allows four candidates to advance to a runoff…
In fact, concerns about the four-candidate field creating needless distractions played out much as the critics envisioned. That’s why we support a bill sponsored by Rep. Raymond Poe, R-Springfield, that would bring back the previous system, in which the top two finishers in a primary advance to the general election.
Numerically, Tuesday’s election almost mirrored the primary results. Mike Houston and Sheila Stocks-Smith finished first and second in both. Houston also nullified our theory about party-backed candidates having an inherent advantage. He handily won the primary election over GOP-endorsed Mike Coffey, who finished third in both the primary and general elections.
In the general election, the public spat that ensued after GOP Chairman Tony Libri withdrew party support for Coffey provided a sideshow that distracted significantly from discussion of issues. (On the plus side, it also presented a fascinating look into political operations behind the scenes of a “nonpartisan” election.) Stocks-Smith attempted to push Houston into the Coffey-Libri fray, claiming independence for herself despite fundraising help from the most powerful Democrat in Springfield, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin. Kudos to candidate Frank Kunz, who mostly stayed out of it.
Finally, a voter turnout of 28.15 percent puts to rest our initial hope that more candidates might equate to more voters.
*** UPDATE *** The elections did have one big impact. Well-known atheist activist Rob Sherman is leaving the country after losing a local campaign…
After garnering just 18 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election for Buffalo Grove Village clerk, Sherman said he’s not sticking around.
He declared that after his daughter graduates from Buffalo Grove High School this spring, he will move to the Cayman Islands.
“I’ve been planning this for the last two years,” he said. “I would have stuck around if the residents had wanted me.”
* Peoria voter turnout shows mixed results: Only 11,962 of 68,429 voters in the city participated. That’s 17.48 percent - slightly closer to 15 than 20.
* More ballots to be counted in tight 45th Ward alderman’s race
* Meet Chicago’s newest aldermen
* Chicago City Council: The more things change - Some newly elected aldermen have links to the past
* A Hastert returns to Valley politics
* McQueary: Winners and losers in Tuesday’s races
* Vote count goes on in several unusual races: In the Blue Island Park District Board race between a write-in candidate and a woman who recently died, more write-in votes were cast than ballots for the late commissioner, Joanne Ring.
* Wisconsin Supreme Court election: Republican, Democrat neck and neck - A recount is said to be inevitable in the Wisconsin Supreme Court election that has come to represent the battle over Gov. Scott Walker’s unions measure. Democrat JoAnne Kloppenburg has a small lead over conservative Justice David Prosser.