Nearly 7.5 million people have registered statewide to vote in the March Primary Election. The polls opened up at 6:00 am today. Voters will determine who will appear on the November ticket for Republican and Democratic races ranging from governor to the state legislature. Turnout was expected to be low despite the 7,483,050 registered voters.
Voting is scheduled to close at all Chicago precincts at 7:00 pm, except for a handful of Chicago precincts that were approved for a one-hour extension by the Circuit Court.
Voting will be open until 8:00 pm at Precinct 11 of Ward 23 (Connolly Victory Post 3940 VFW, 3745 W. 63rd St), Precinct 11 of Ward 32 (Stan Properties, 2408 N. Kedzie Ave.), and Precinct 11 of Ward 50 (Ida Crown Jewish Academy, 2828 W Pratt Ave.)
The Chicago Board of Elections is scheduled to begin reporting results about 7:25 pm.
As of 6:00 pm, the Chicago Board of Elections reported voter turnout at 8.58 percent with 136,279 people voting. Of the voters, the Chicago Board of Elections reported 53.4 percent were female and 46.6 percent were male.
Democrats composed 79 percent of voters, Republicans made up 19.8 percent of voters, and 1.1 percent were non-partisan voters.
While 17-year-olds were eligible to vote in the primary election, so far the Chicago Board of Elections hasn’t reported any ballots cast by them. Voters ages 18-24 cast 3,178 ballots, and voters ages 55-64 were the largest group to vote with 33,680 ballots cast.
“Early voting turnout seems to be a little lower,” said llinois State Board of Elections Deputy General Counsel Ken Menzel. “That’s kind of what I’m hearing from some jurisdictions. Things seem a little light.”
While Menzel said he did not want to predict the number of voters, he said voter turnout for primary elections has been at about 23 percent the last couple of years.
In the 2012 primary election, 7,304,333 people registered to vote and 1,694,317 ballots were cast, with 730,219 Democratic ballots cast (43.1 percent) and 948,178 Republican ballots cast (55.96 percent).
The total percentage of voters does not add up to 100 percent, and Menzel said that will occur when there is a referendum on the ballot.
“In 2012, we had just under 16,000 people who only cast a ballot for a referendum,” he said. “For example, if a school district has a bond referendum, it will be on the Republican and Democratic ballot at the end. If you don’t wish to participate in either primary, you can just get the ballot for the referendum.”
In Cook County, 2,682,942 registered to vote and 644,701 votes were cast in the 2012 primary election. In DuPage County, 526,358 registered to vote and 138,281 ballots were cast in the 2012 primary election. In Lake County, 385,905 registered to vote and 91,138 ballots were cast in the 2012 primary election.
For the last gubernatorial primary election in 2010, 7,600,962 had registered to vote and 1,758,489 (23.14 percent) voted in the primary, with 783,060 (44.53 percent) voting Republican and 959,521 (54.57 percent) voting Democratic.
In the 2010 primary election, 2,883,692 Cook County residents registered to vote and 761,626 ballots were cast. In DuPage County, 548,771 registered to vote and 136,750 ballots were cast in the 2010 primary election. In Lake County, 401,680 registered to vote and 83,908 ballots were cast in the 2010 primary election.
For the most up-to-date election results, visit Primary Election Winners.