Early and absentee voting for the March 20 primary is significantly less than in the 2008 primary election, according to Lake County Clerk Willard Helander.
As of March 12, the Lake County Clerk’s Office had a total of 13,030 ballots cast, which includes absentee voting and early voting. In the 2008 primary, the total number of voters who participated in some form of early voting was 24,946.
Helander said she was recently on WBBM radio with Cook County Clerk David Orr and they discussed voter disinterest.
“People are jaded and they don’t feel good about what’s happening; that may play into it as well. I hope it picks up,” Helander said.
Of those who took ballots, a greater percentage of Democrat ballots are being returned than Republican ballots. The Lake County Clerk has received 5,323 Democratic ballots of the 6,781 issued and 7,707 of the 9,915 Republican ballots issued.
The most active early voting sites as of March 12 were:
- Lake County North Shore Health Center in Highland Park, 789;
- Lake Forest City Hall, 768;
- Vernon Township Office in Buffalo Grove, 620;
- Fremont Public Library in Mundelein, 596.
Illinois has a semi-open primary, which means voters do not have to register with a certain party. They can pull a Republican ballot in one election and a Democrat ballot in the next.
Early voting ends March 15.