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Tribune looks at turnout

Thursday, Nov 3, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Rick Pearson

Of the 677,000 early votes cast in Illinois through Monday, more than twice as many Democrats as Republicans have filled out ballots — 404,374 to 193,177, according to L2, a national firm that has spent more than 50 years researching voter data and demographics. The other roughly 80,000 voters had no previous partisan voting history. Since Illinois does not have true party registration, the figures are based on personal voting history in party primaries, including on June 28.

More than 80% of the early votes were cast by older voters, age 50 and above, with voters 65 and older, a reliable voting demographic, casting 56% of the early ballots. Female voters accounted for 55% of the early vote, and men made up 45%, the L2 analysis showed.

Geographically, 65% of the early votes were cast in the six-county Chicago metropolitan area, with 35% coming from Chicago and suburban Cook County, 10% from DuPage, 8% from Will and 5% apiece from Lake and Kane. McHenry County has cast 2% of the state’s early votes.

Of the early votes already cast, 35% of Democrats also voted in the June 28 primary compared with only 17% of Republicans who cast a primary ballot. That leaves the potential for a final flurry of balloting on both sides, with Republicans counting on a heavy in-person Election Day vote as races in the one-party blue state show signs of tightening.

I early voted yesterday for the first time.


  1. - ddp76 - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 9:08 am:

    I don’t know enough about Illinois elections to opine on what those numbers mean. In my limited experience, heavy early voting=voter involvement and dissatisfaction. In my little town, we had a municipal election of note and I had to early vote. On my way out, one of the judges said “What Y’all got going on?” I asked what she meant. She replied that the early voting was off the charts. I knew in that moment that change was about to happen.

  2. - Early voter - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 9:10 am:

    Give us the Who, What, When, Where, and Why.

    What? Voting.
    When? Yesterday.

  3. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 9:30 am:

    Two things really stand out…

    Start here… “age and gender”

    ===More than 80% of the early votes were cast by older voters, age 50 and above, with voters 65 and older, a reliable voting demographic, casting 56% of the early ballots. Female voters accounted for 55% of the early vote, and men made up 45%, the L2 analysis showed.===

    So four of five early voters are 50 or older… a majority too are women

    Now “party”

    ===Of the early votes already cast, 35% of Democrats also voted in the June 28 primary compared with only 17% of Republicans who cast a primary ballot. That leaves the potential for a final flurry of balloting on both sides, with Republicans counting on a heavy in-person Election Day vote as races in the one-party blue state show signs of tightening.===

    Is it that Dems should be pleased with the numbers in the demographics that should bring about wins, or should Dems be quite worried that fatigue or falling flat in the closing days could be a real thing as Republicans, the party out of power (White House) moving their voters with election day turnout coming up stronger… as the demographics and party numbers showed “had the party got their voters out” excuses?

  4. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 9:31 am:

    I’ve voted early in every general election I’ve voted in since 2006. When anyone involved with GOTV needs to leave to vote at the polls on election day it feels like a micro aggression.

  5. - Mandymae - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 9:34 am:

    Early voting is the best. In Sangamon County, it’s always quick and slick.

  6. - Scott Fawell's Cellmate - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 9:37 am:

    Rich, how was your EV experience?

  7. - cermak_rd - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 9:38 am:

    I voted early last Friday at Berwyn city hall and they were doing a steady business. I guess that puts us straight into those numbers, both of us are ove

  8. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 9:38 am:

    ===how was your EV experience? ===

    I did the mail-in thing. Easy-peasy.

  9. - cermak_rd - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 9:39 am:

    Gah! This new computer… anyway to continue the thought, both of us are over 50 and our votes were cast in Cook County.

  10. - Dave Fako / Fako Research & Strategies - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 9:39 am:

    L2, the firm that is the source of the data in this article, is a great data source and highly reliable. Our firm has used them almost exclusively for our polling samples for nearly 25 years.

  11. - George Ryan Reynolds - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 9:41 am:

    Voted early on Oct. 24 when it expanded to more locations. Didn’t want to risk a long line on Nov. 8.

    Dems should have some fear in Chicago, where so many polling places have changed due to cost-cutting and staffing shortages (and many voters skipped the primary and still don’t know about this). Could end up going to your normal spot, finding out it’s no longer a polling place and not having the time to go the five blocks or whatever to the actual polling location. People may get up early on Election Day to do their democratic duty and find that due to a polling place change or long lines, they have to bail and get to work.

  12. - Tom keane - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 9:47 am:

    Seems like good news , as long as we can keep the super majority we can continue having such a great low tax state to live in

  13. - Sox Fan - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 9:49 am:

    I early voted a couple weeks ago. Personally, it helps me tune out the commercials when I’m trying to watch the World Series knowing my mind can no longer be swayed.

  14. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 9:53 am:

    I voted early at the downtown super site. I prefer to vote in my home precinct on Election Day, but my long time polling place was moved a few blocks further away and I happened to remember that as I was walking by the Loop site. It was a crime of opportunity and it was very convenient.

  15. - West Side the Best Side - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 9:58 am:

    Voted early one year but the ads kept coming on TV and in the mail. Couldn’t find a “Voted Early” control on the TV to keep them off. It’s good for hand/eye coordination to get the mute button so at least I don’t have to hear them.

  16. - JS Mill - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 10:10 am:

    IO have voted early twice. When pritzker ran nI went and voted early in person. I voted by mail in the past presidential election, mainly because trump complained about it.

    Voting early feels odd, I like voting on election day and that’s what I am doing this year. I guess I am old fashioned but I just like the vibe.

  17. - Honeybear - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 10:14 am:

    I voted early at my Madison county building. It’s always so easy to go pay my property taxes then vote. Civic duty day.

  18. - Count Floyd - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 10:24 am:

    I always voted on Election Day- I wanted to take into account any late developments in the election cycle. But I was faced with a super long line at my Chicago polling place last primary- so I’ll be voting early for the first time. Wait- it’s Nov. 3 already? I better get moving on that…

  19. - Donnie Elgin - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 10:25 am:

    I Voted early in person on Oct 25 - two voting-age daughters are temp away from home - they used mail-in ballots. Kane County has a slick operation - tracking the ballot from mailed to received.

  20. - Scott - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 10:35 am:

    Voted early this last Monday in a downstate county in the west-central region of the state.

  21. - illinifan - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 10:45 am:

    I early voted and stood in line for about 20 minutes. The voting site had 8 voting stations and all were filled. When I left the line was out the door. I was surprised at the volume.

  22. - Groundhog Day - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 11:07 am:

    I early voted on my way to work this morning. I did not want to have to face it after work on Tuesday. No waiting in Berwyn, but nearly all booths were full. I used mail in voting for 2020, but I think I liked this better.

  23. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 11:12 am:

    In Cook County we have to wait until after the week after Election Day instead of June 30th, to find out how much our second half property tax bill is.

  24. - cermak_rd - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 11:51 am:

    LP, Yes I know this delay has really irritated me. I mean, sure the $$ are in the bank, but man, there’s a rhythm to these things and they’ve screwed it up.

  25. - clec dcn - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 11:54 am:

    I really wish I had voted early it simply would be more convenient, maybe next time. I can see why the older folks vote early they simply run on a different time system than most under 35. Older folks generally are not late for anything.

  26. - Bogey Golfer - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 12:33 pm:

    So the question that needs to be asked is: With early voting and voting by mail, why do State Employees need to have Election Day off?

  27. - Huh? - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 12:41 pm:

    Sheba and I were running errands a week or so ago. Drove over to the court house and voted early. Then chatted up the election judges. No waiting. Very easy.

  28. - Leap Day William - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 1:41 pm:

    I’m rarely an early voter and hold nostalgic feelings for day-of voting on Election Day, but the polling place for my precinct is a five minute walk from my house.

  29. - Product of the '60's - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 3:31 pm:

    We have early voted in past 3 or so elections but significant other has been away till recently so I thought I’d wait till election day. Besides, here in DuPage one can go to ANY polling place for this election.

  30. - Seats - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 4:57 pm:

    To Bogey Golfer: The need is becoming lessened for sure. But much like schools. State employment worksites make up a lot of election day voting sites making in person work not practical if they want to use the locations for voting.

  31. - thisjustinagain - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 7:10 pm:

    Mailed my ballot this morning in Cook County/60827 zip, a quick lunch pickup, and back home to fix a lawnmower…and wait for the 2nd half property tax bill, which Treasurer Maria Pappas blamed on local and State agencies not turning in the information needed to do the bills.

  32. - thoughts matter - Thursday, Nov 3, 22 @ 9:00 pm:

    I voted early and it was easy and quick.
    In regards to the party numbers, I wonder what they based their party determination on. Only the most recent primary a voter voted in, or some overall pattern? There are people( such as me), who crossed party lines in 2018 as a statement of principle and who haven’t changed back. I wonder where we are counted - and if it even matters. Quite honestly I’m not sure what my party is at this point- maybe independent?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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