A million ballots already cast in Illinois – Crain’s Chicago Business


A million Illinois voters have already cast their ballots, by Greg Hinz

mail ballot drop box
Photo: Bloomberg


Well, they’re voting, and then some.

Just under 12% of Illinois’ registered voters—roughly one in eight—have already cast a ballot in the 2022 general election, according to the latest report from the State Board of Elections. Voting continues to be particularly peppy in portions of the suburbs while relatively light in Chicago proper, although the city has picked up some, too.

Based on a pretty comprehensive board report that came out mid-day Thursday (but may be a day behind in some cases), 968,886 of the state’s 8.1 million registered voters had already voted early or returned a mail ballot to their local election agency. Overall, that’s 9% above the comparable figure from the 2018 general election which, like this year, had the governor on the ballot but not the presidency.

Despite the boobirds, voting by mail has proved to be very, very popular, says board spokesman Matt Dietrich, with the 489,730 mail ballots returned so far ahead of the total 427,000 cast in 2018—several days of mail voting yet to come.

Dietrich said he can’t project what the final turnout will be because it’s still not clear whether the early and mail votes are mostly new or will mostly come from people who would have voted in person on Election Day.

RELATED: Everything you need to know ahead of Election Day 2022

Suburban Cook County has the highest turnout so far with 179,376 ballots cast, according to the board. With nearby DuPage County at 89,903, the influence of some hot congressional and legislative races in the inner ‘burbs may be driving turnout.

In comparison, Chicago’s 168,807 is relatively light though better than it was last week and only a few thousand short of the comparable 2018 figure. The city represents a bit over 20% of the overall state population, but its turnout so far is only 17.4% of the statewide total.

One top union leader I talked to said the lag is of some concern, but speculated that people have other things on their minds with the warm weather. Maybe they’ll turn out in person on Tuesday. Or not.

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November 4, 2022 at 07:11AM

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