Chicago May Set Record In Low Voter Turnout For A Municipal Election

Bernie Tafoya
February 26, 2019 - 1:36 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Bernie Tafoya


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Chicago could be headed for a record low percentage of voter turnout for a municipal election since at least World War II.

Chicago Election Board spokesman Jim Allen said that, even with a record number of candidates running for mayor - 14 - Chicago could be headed towards its lowest percentage turnout for a municipal election in 77 years. 

He said the lowest percentage turnout for a city election was 33 percent in 2007, in records going back to 1942.

Allen said voters have been slowly going to the polling places on Tuesday. During the first four hours polling places were open, he said about 6 percent of registered voters cast ballots compared to 9 percent who voted during the early voting period.

"Hopefully I’m wrong and big evening rush and turn things around but right now, the voters need to be aware that, every single ballot’s going to count in this one," he said.

Allen said it’s unfortunate the turnout so far is so low. 

"We prepare and lay out an election for a supersize turnout and when you have this low of a number of participants, it’s disappointing," he said. 

Allen said there were a couple of polling places that opened later than they were supposed to Tuesday morning and a couple of complaints questioning the number of poll workers at a particular polling place.