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Record low voter turnout in DuPage County

Published: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 5:17 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, March 31, 2014 9:57 a.m. CDT
(Anna Schier - aschier@shawmedia.com)
Lisle residents prepare to vote in the general primary election Tuesday at Lisle Village Hall, 925 Burlington Ave.

DOWNERS GROVE – Voters turned out in record low numbers for Tuesday's primary election, said Bob Saar, executive director of the DuPage County Election Commission.

Only 18.9 percent of registered voters went to the polls Tuesday, he said, most of them Republicans.

"It's the lowest percentage that I can find in modern times for this type of election," he said.

Saar said 93,681 voters pulled a Republican ballot, compared to 15,796 Democrat ballots and 14 Green Party ballots.

Saar did not have a total for the non-partisan ballots.

He said the number of Republican ballots was about on par with past similar elections, but the Democratic total was about half of many similar previous elections.

Saar believes it's more likely the Democrat ballot number was low because of a lack of races featuring Democrats, as opposed to thousands of Democrats pulling Republican ballots in an effort to shift the primary results of the opposing party.

"I think the simplest explanation is the right one," he said.

Saar said he saw higher voter turnout in districts with school referendums, especially, along with Illinois House District 81, which saw incumbent Ron Sandack narrowly defeat challenger Keith Matune.

"I canvassed ten percent of the precincts," he said. "I could see predictably high turnout tended to be areas with propositions and hot races."

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