Local

McHenry County sees about 48 percent voter turnout, unofficial results show

Kim Schuett-Splett of Crystal Lake fills out a ballot while her granddaughter, Jen Nopen, 4, plays a game on her phone under the voting booth Tuesday at Park Place Banquets in Crystal Lake.
Kim Schuett-Splett of Crystal Lake fills out a ballot while her granddaughter, Jen Nopen, 4, plays a game on her phone under the voting booth Tuesday at Park Place Banquets in Crystal Lake.

About 48.4 percent of registered voters in McHenry County cast ballots in the midterm election, according to unofficial results.

Contested races for Illinois governor, attorney general, secretary of state, comptroller, treasurer, U.S. House seats, Illinois House and Senate seats, McHenry County Board seats and county clerk were on the ballot.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner conceded Tuesday evening, leaving the seat open for his Democratic opponent, J.B. Pritzker. McHenry County ultimately picked Rauner for Illinois governor, however, with more than 53 percent (48,643 votes) of the local voters’ support, according to unofficial results.

Rain earlier in the day didn’t seem to hinder McHenry County residents, who formed lines outside several polling locations before voting opened Tuesday morning.

“I think the voter turnout was based upon people having a choice, and a voice to have that heard,” McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan said. “It was an overall great day.”

McHenry County had 238,290 registered voters heading into the election.

Of those registered voters, about
13.9 percent, or 33,044 people, voted early, according to the county clerk’s website.

McClellan anticipated meeting or exceeding the more than 41,600 early votes cast in the 2016 general election. She also hoped to reach a 50 percent overall voter turnout.

Unofficial results show a strong turnout from both Democratic and Republican parties, McClellan said.

“You see a much stronger base and a much stronger voice than you have in the past,” she said.

Complications with a new security measure that requires election judges to initial each ballot before the machine accepts them were worked out by Tuesday, McClellan said.

Election judges reported seeing more young voters than usual, and attributed the turnout to increased campaign advertising and a shift in the way people think about how their individual vote could affect a larger decision.

“We’ve had a lot of young people,” election judge Daniel Bator said. “I’m very impressed. I think they’re realizing how their vote does count.”

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