Early Voting Slowly Gaining Popularity

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), April 7, 2009 | Go to article overview

Early Voting Slowly Gaining Popularity


Byline: Jake Griffin jgriffin@dailyherald.com

The number of early voters in the suburbs has increased compared to local elections two years ago, but it pales in comparison to those who turned out for the 2008 presidential election.

Figures from suburban Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane and McHenry counties show slightly more than 2 percent of registered voters already have cast a ballot. Close to 20 percent of registered voters went to the polls early during the November election.

"We did better than we expected this time, but the presidential election was so huge weAEre just thrilled people took advantage of the opportunity to vote early and continued the upward trend," said Linda Mitchell, elections director at the Kane County clerkAEs office.

In 2007, more than 3,700 people voted early during the spring municipal elections in Kane compared to the 6,037 early voters this time.

Doreen Nelson, DuPage County Election Commission assistant executive director, was expecting a higher early voting turnout this spring because of how popular the option was during the presidential race. With 10,316 votes already cast, early voting was up 57 percent from the 2007 municipal election in DuPage, she said.

Nelson estimates it cost about $120,000 to stage early voting in DuPage for this election, which translates to $11. …

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