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Chicago appears to account for most of state’s net voter registration gain since ‘08

Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Early voting increases every year as people figure out they can do it. Some folks see it as a sign of intensity, and that could be true, too. But there’s a natural trend here

In Chicago alone, 17,493 voters had already cast ballots as of about 5:30 p.m. Monday, on the first day of expanded early voting. That beats a city record of 15,000 early voters on Day One in 2012, according to Chicago Board of Election Commissioners spokesman Jim Allen. Another 22,000 voters have already voted early — as Chicago voters were able to vote at a “super site” in the Loop beginning on Sept. 29. That marks the earliest early voting had begun before an election in Illinois.

* This, however, could be more significant

Illinois also had more than 7.9 million active registered voters as of Monday — beating the state’s previous high total of 7.8 million registered voters in the 2008 election during Barack Obama’s first presidential election, according to Illinois State Board of Elections spokesman Jim Tenuto

OK, that shows intensity.

* And it turns out that Chicago accounts for most of that net state increase since 2008. According to the city elections board this morning, 1.497 million Chicago voters were registered in 2008. As of a week ago, the city was at 1.570 million registered voters.

The city’s elections board spokesman Jim Allen said his office processed “several thousand” online voter registrations over the weekend, which aren’t included in those totals. Allen also pointed out that there’s still a lot of time for voters to register, including grace period and election day. He estimates that the city has seen a net gain of 100,000 registered voters since early August. That number, of course, doesn’t include people who have changed their registration after they’ve moved.

Keep in mind that Chicago’s population has not significantly increased during that same time period.

* Back to the Sun-Times

In DuPage County, which typically leans Republican, 9,272 ballots have been mailed in, with just three voters using early voting. In Lake County, which also has a conservative tilt, 1,619 have early voted, with 10,742 mail in ballots already received of 31,976 requested.

Keep in mind, however, that Barack Obama won DuPage and Lake counties the last two cycles.

* More from the Chicago elections board…

Vote By Mail numbers are up: over 76,000 applications and more than 13,000 returned. That’s far many more applications to Vote By Mail in either 2008 or 2012.

Again, this could be a sign of intensity, but part of it could be that people are figuring out they can vote early and shut off the madness while they await the 2016 Sweet Meteor of Death.

…Adding… Press release…

A record number of suburban Cook County voters took advantage of the first day of Early Voting on Monday, shattering all previous marks for the day.

On Monday, 25,579 suburban Cook County residents voted throughout the 52 Early Voting sites in suburban Cook County and at Cook County Clerk David Orr’s downtown Chicago office. An additional 838 people registered and voted through Grace Period registration.

The previous record for the first day of Early Voting was set in the 2012 Presidential Election, when 13,779 suburban Cook County voters cast their ballots on Oct. 22, 2012.

“This is an incredible testament to the rising popularity of Early Voting,” Cook County Clerk David Orr said. “Whether it’s voting early at one of our 52 sites throughout Cook County, or voting from the comfort of home via a mail-in ballot, Cook County voters appreciate the options they have. There are contests and initiatives up and down the ballot that are generating a lot of interest from voters, who obviously want to make sure their votes are cast.”

       

19 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 25, 16 @ 9:54 am:

    –In DuPage County, which typically leans Republican, 9,272 ballots have been mailed in, with just three voters using early voting. –

    Three? Is there like an “Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade” series of booby traps to get to the polling station?


  2. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Oct 25, 16 @ 9:56 am:

    Ruh Roh Rauner!


  3. - Early and Often - Tuesday, Oct 25, 16 @ 9:59 am:

    I waited for more than a half hour to cast my vote at an early voting location in Chicago yesterday and the lines of people waiting to cast their ballots was lengthy. I have never seen that happen before.


  4. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Oct 25, 16 @ 9:59 am:

    Sweet Meteor of Death be with me now and at the moment of my existential angst.


  5. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Oct 25, 16 @ 10:05 am:

    Word - haha! That was my thought as well. Three is very low - and even almost an unbelievably low - number.

    7.9 million is great. Regardless of the outcome we need more engaged, voting adults.


  6. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 25, 16 @ 10:07 am:

    ===Ruh Roh Rauner! ===

    Except for comptroller and Rep. McAuliffe, all of his races are outside the city.


  7. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Oct 25, 16 @ 10:08 am:

    Getting to be that in my area the lines to vote early are longer than the lines on Election Day.


  8. - Cromulent M. Biggens - Tuesday, Oct 25, 16 @ 10:08 am:

    It’s perhaps a picky point, but I wonder how the Sun-Times is defining “early voting” in DuPage. My college-age son and I voted at the Wheaton office of the Election Commissioners while he was home for break a few weeks ago. There was a bigger crowd than I expected: about 20 to 30 in line, 10 to 15 at counters getting ballots, and 10 to 15 at booths, a steady steam that didn’t let up. When we completed our ballots, we put them in envelopes that looked like they’d otherwise be used for mailing them. Maybe we were “mail” ballots rather than “early voting,” which began at several sites around the county yesterday?


  9. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Oct 25, 16 @ 10:11 am:

    ===Except for comptroller and Rep. McAuliffe, all of his races are outside the city.===

    This is a microcosm of why we have a Republican congress. All those extra votes, if assumed D, are concentrated in a place where the outcome was never in doubt, and don’t really help tilt the field in an area in play.


  10. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Oct 25, 16 @ 10:11 am:

    Early voting rules. We vote early all the time. Vote early, but most importantly in Chicago, vote often.


  11. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Oct 25, 16 @ 10:11 am:

    Rich - my initial thought was to mention that but you surmised it much more concisely.


  12. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Oct 25, 16 @ 10:15 am:

    Three voters doing early voting is an insanely low number. Early voting has been open for almost a month now. And in a county with 900,000+ people, only 3 early votes? I am legitimately concerned with what the DuPage election officials are up to with such low numbers. Please follow up.


  13. - Early and Often - Tuesday, Oct 25, 16 @ 10:19 am:

    For personal convenience, I have voted early before, but I have never witnessed the crowds waiting to vote that I saw yesterday. There were ten machines available, but while I was waiting there were at least sixty people or so in the polling place.

    Generally, I have voted in neighborhood early locations. Downtown polling places can be busy especially during the noon hour.


  14. - titan - Tuesday, Oct 25, 16 @ 10:19 am:

    Once all the online registrations from the weekend are processed, it number will probably be over 8 million for the first time.


  15. - Jose Abreu's next homer - Tuesday, Oct 25, 16 @ 10:33 am:

    Why wait until election day? I’ve voted early the past 3 elections. Coworkers of mine have been cheering for that Sweet Death Meteor since June. Soon, buddies, soon.


  16. - The Captain - Tuesday, Oct 25, 16 @ 11:08 am:

    - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 25, 16 @ 10:07 am:

    ===Ruh Roh Rauner! ===

    Except for comptroller and Rep. McAuliffe, all of his races are outside the city.

    I suspect you left someone out by accident but I’m still totally fascinated by this given how many Rauner staffers previously worked for Kirk. Much has been made of the absence of Kirk’s DC money/ads/help but he hasn’t had much in state help either.


  17. - benniefly2 - Tuesday, Oct 25, 16 @ 2:14 pm:

    “In DuPage County, which typically leans Republican, 9,272 ballots have been mailed in, with just three voters using early voting.”

    Pretty sure that is some sort of typo. When my wife and I went over to Wheaton to vote a few weeks ago, there was a slow but steady stream of people going in and voting. Did that not count as early voting or something or am I 33% of the early vote in Dupage county? Up until this week, I thought going over to the county office in Wheaton was the only way to vote early in Dupage.


  18. - walker - Tuesday, Oct 25, 16 @ 4:23 pm:

    Gigantic first day early turnout in suburban Cook Co, almost double 2012. Same kind of growth happened in the Democratic primary, but not the Republican. Let’s see what the first week shows.


  19. - peon - Tuesday, Oct 25, 16 @ 5:15 pm:

    There will be a reaction in the electorate to the state budget dysfunction and the presidential campaign by the laws of political physics: every action eventually has a somewhat equal and opposite reaction.

    Another $46M stat!


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