CHICAGO (AP) — Election officials say voter turnout is steady, but may not reach the level seen eight years ago when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton faced off in the Democratic presidential primary.
Chicago Board of Election Commissioners spokesman Jim Allen says the numbers he has seen from precincts Tuesday morning indicate turnout won’t climb as high as the 53 percent seen in 2008.
In Chicago, early voter turnout did eclipse figures from 2008. About 150,000 people voted early, compared to 81,690 in 2008. Allen thinks that represents a shift in voter behavior, with more voting early instead of voting on Election Day.
McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael reports “really long lines” of voters at IllinoisState University. She says student voters are turning out in far heavier numbers than in recent years, at least in part because of on-campus campaigning by supporters of Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders.
Jackson County Clerk Larry Reinhardt says it’s been steady at polling stations in Carbondale, Murphysboro and elsewhere. He expects the county will match the 12,000 ballots cast in the March election eight years ago, when contested presidential primaries in both major parties drove heavy turnout. That would put turnout at about 30 percent.