Illinois Primary Election: Chicago sees low voting turnout, 56 polling places didn't open on time

6 suburban Cook County polling places stayed open late after delay

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Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Illinois Primary: Chicago sees low early voting turnout
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Voter turnout in Chicago for the 2022 Illinois primary is low, especially among voters aged 18 to 24.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Voting for Tuesday's Illinois primary was low, especially in the city of Chicago.

The primary this year was delayed this year because of redistricting. Voter turnout for primaries outside of presidential election years is also traditionally low.

"We want to see change in our world, we've got to go out there and vote," said Oral Blankson, voter. "It's pretty much black and white for me."

A number of people headed out to vote Tuesday afternoon said they were driven by the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the issue of crime, and concerns over the economy.

"As a Black woman going to an HBCU, it's important to me to vote, to get the Black voice heard," said Sydney Rogers, a voter.

LATEST UPDATES: Illinois primary election results, voting updates and more

It appears good weather did little to get out the vote, and the people who showed up at the polls skewed older.

"The youngest, the 18- to 24-year-olds are not turning out to vote," said Marisel Hernandez, Chicago Board of Elections chairwoman. "And that's unfortunate because this election, you know, has to can affect their lives, not only for the next couple of years but for the rest of their lives. So, all of all of you know our age groups need to come out and vote."

After the polls closed, the city reported 279,748 votes cast on Election Day.

Democratic turnout was 88.58%, or 247,803 votes cast. Republican was 11.12%, or 31,104 votes cast. Libertarian turnout was 0.30%, or 835 votes cast, and nonpartisan turnout was 0.002%, or 6 votes cast.

But outside the city, in the suburbs, it's a much different story.

"I just think, like, stuff at the lower level government actually has more impact on the community," said Thomas Marszewiski, 25-year-old teacher.

In DuPage County and suburban Cook County, turnout is actually on the rise, led by residents 55 and older.

"I think I's less about idealism and more about trying to find small, practical changes that make life better for everyone," said Tom Gehring, voter.

"There's a lot of complicated topics on the agenda right now, so I think having the right elected officials will go a long way to protecting women's rights," voter Tony Fiore said.

WATCH: IL State Board of Elections weighs on on voting turnout, polling place delays

Six suburban Cook County polling locations stayed open late Tuesday night for Election Day voting because they opened an hour late. In the city, 56 polling places did not open on time, but did not stay open later, election officials said.

"On Election Day, you're going to have things going wrong," said Matt Dietrich of the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Dietrich said he thinks "no-show judges" had "a lot to do" with delays in Chicago. He added that he does not anticipate any issues or delays with counting the votes.

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