City Officials Preparing For Heavy Municipal Election Turnout

Bob Roberts
November 10, 2018 - 11:19 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Election season is over — or is it? 

The Chicago Board of Elections is bracing for a busy five months, and the numbers tell the story.

The fact that 17 candidates for Chicago mayor have been circulating petitions should be one clue. But the Election Board’s Jim Allen said Tuesday’s unusually large 54 percent turnout could mean voters are equally excited for the municipal election.

Historically, Allen said large November turnouts are followed by unusually large city turnouts the following year.

The most recent examples he cited were the 1982 and 1986 general elections and the following mayoral elections. In 1982, Harold Washington was assembling his coalition with months of registration drives and in 1986 was gearing up for his re-election after November voters rejected the Lyndon LaRouche-backed candidates who won the Democratic primary. The turnout also was heavy in 1987 for a number of aldermanic races because of the City Council’s “Council Wars” split that coincided with the Washington years.

With no clear favorite established in the race for mayor and building aldermanic races, Allen made this prediction: it will be a big turnout in February.