Despite projecting that turnout in the Chicago municipal elections would top 50 percent, election officials confirmed what Progress Illinois has been seeing in the field -- that the number of votes cast early in the day were lower than anticipated. Langdon Neal, the chair of the Chicago Board of Elections, said overall turnout is now more likely to be in the 40 percent to 45 percent range.
"We were anticipating, based on the early voting numbers and based on the
absentee ballots returned and requested, that we'd be well over 50 percent," Neal said. "It's going to take a strong effort between 5 and 7 [o'clock] to reach
that right now." He added that the board may have to revise their thinking that higher early voting means higher turnout. Neal said the low turnout is citywide and is not specific to any wards or areas of the city and said the bad weather early in the morning may have contributed to the low turnout.
The board reported that it has been a "fairly uneventful day" with a few complaints of electioneering, one precinct that opened late (the precinct is in the 20th Ward), which is in court in an attempt to stay open late, and one precinct judge went home after admitting she was intoxicated.
As for when we can expect results, Neal said nothing will be official for weeks, but that about 90 percent of the votes will likely be tallied by about 10 p.m. Keep refreshing Progress Illinois throughout the evening for updated information about the election. And remember, it's not too late to vote.