Low Early Vote Totals For Center Square

By Mike Fourcher | Monday, March 19, 2012

A 2010 early voter at the Welles Park early voting polling place. Credit: Mike Fourcher

Tomorrow is Election Day, and judging by early vote totals in the Center Square area, voters should be turning out in droves, right? Maybe not.

2008′s Obama-fever during the primary elections drew a stunning 53% turnout in Chicago, a percentage more in line with general elections. Then, in 2010, the mid-term primary elections drew a pale 27% turnout.

But if you look at the early vote totals for the 40th and 47th Wards, the numbers keep going up. If more people are early voting, that means more people will vote over all, right?

2006 Primary 2008 Primary 2008 General 2010 Primary 2012 Primary
40th Ward 40 357 1,237 189 494
47th Ward 201 560 1,915 221 637

Probably not, experts say. Sure, there are more people pulling GOP ballots for the heated Santorum-Romney-Paul-Gingrich presidential primary, but don’t expect it to change things too much. In 2010, 9% of all Chicago primary voters requested a Republican ballot.

This year, we should expect about a quarter of all voters to vote. About the same as in 2010.

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