Some runoffs attract hundreds of early voters, others get forgotten

March 24, 2011

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(Getty/Scott Olson)
In Chicago, some aldermanic runoff races are getting a lot more attention from voters than others.
First Lady Michelle Obama voted early in Chicago ahead of the November 2010 elections.

There's one week to go for early voting ahead of the April 5th elections. In Chicago, some aldermanic runoff races are getting a lot more attention than others from voters.

There are 14 Chicago runoffs, and one of them is getting more than its share of early voting love. According to the Chicago Board of Elections, the 41st Ward on the Northwest Side attracted more than 1,600 early voters through Wednesday. It's a tight race, an open seat where the current alderman, Brian Doherty, is retiring.

Another aldermanic race getting a lot of attention is the the 6th Ward on the South Side, where Ald. Freddrenna Lyle faces a challenge from the son of former Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer. In excess of a thousand early ballots have been cast in that election.

On the other side of the popularity scale is a nearby ward on the South Side. The 15th has the lowest turnout so far during early voting, with under 150 voters. The incumbent alderman there, Toni Foulkes, faces Raymond Lopez, a 32-year-old Southwest Airlines employee.

There are 43 early voting sites scattered across suburban Cook County, which has more than 700 local races going on - ranging from school board members to mayors to fire protection district trustees.

According to Cook County Clerk David Orr's office, the busiest site so far is an ice rink in north suburban Wilmette, followed by the city hall in south suburban Chicago Heights.

Early voting continues through next Thursday, Mar. 31.

Turnout for early voting in Chicago, by ward

WardEarly voters*

* Totals are up to date as of Wednesday.

This story was corrected at 11:51 a.m. on Friday, Mar. 25 to fix a typo.