This year, the Illinois Primary Elections were a bit different from previous ones as concerns of COVID-19 kept some voters home.
Voter Turnout For Illinois Primary Elections
In 2016, DuPage County had about a 50% voter turnout for the primary elections. This year voter turnout was less than 25%. In Will County, coronavirus concerns had a similar effect with a lower turnout.
“Total turnout was 24% yesterday, which in the 2016 Presidential Primary I think we had about a 45% turnout. So a huge difference yesterday,” said Will County Clerk Lauren Staley Ferry.
Staley Ferry said over 12,000 mail-in ballots were requested and more than half of them have been accounted for.
Precautionary Measures Against COVID-19
Both counties took precautionary measures like providing hand sanitizer and cleaning voting booths, but some community members took an extra step by bringing their own pens and wearing masks.
Though concerns did weigh heavy on some community members minds they still wanted to do their civic duty.
“I just want to protect my family: my parents, I have two kids at home and my husband,” said Naperville resident Tanya Kreager. “We’re supposed to stay six-feet-apart so just that makes me nervous. But, I know this is important so it’s my duty to come in and vote.”
Marijuana Question On the Ballot
Voters had the opportunity to weigh in on if adult use cannabis should be sold in Naperville. In September of last year Naperville’s city council voted not to allow the sale, but later decided to gauge public opinion through the non-binding referendum.
The majority of voters were in favor of allowing the sale of marijuana with 53% of them voting yes. City staff will look into ordinance changes and the taxation of cannabis in Naperville.
“They will come back to us likely in 6-8 weeks with their recommendations. We would have a public meeting to discuss the pros and cons of their recommendation and then we would have to vote on that,” said Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico.
U.S. and IL House Seats
There also a handful of U.S. House seats up for grabs. In the 6th District Jeanne Ives won the Republican nomination and will face off against democratic incumbent Sean Casten, who ran unopposed, in November.
Incumbent Bill Foster won the Democratic nomination for the 11th District seat in the U.S. House with nearly 60% of the votes. He’ll be up against Republican Rick Laib, who bested Krishna Bansal by less than 2,000 votes.
Jim Oberweis took the Republican nomination for the 14th District and will face Democratic incumbent Lauren Underwood in November. Underwood ran unopposed.
Republican incumbent Grant Wehrli will take on Janet Yang Rohr in November, as she the won the Democratic nomination for the State Representative race for District 41.
Now For Some County Races.
In DuPage County, Amy Chavez received 57% of the votes, which was good enough to secure her the Democratic nomination for the county’s District 5 seat. She’ll be up against Naperville City Councilman Kevin Coyne, who ran unopposed in November. Incumbent Jim Healy did not run for re-election.
Incumbent Mary Lou Wehrli will be the Republican candidate for DuPage County Forest Preserve Board District 5 this fall. She will face Democrat Barbara O’meara who ran unopposed.
Republican Babette Holder Youngberg won a close race against Ron Almiron for the DuPage County Recorder candidacy, with just over 52% of the vote. She’ll face off in November against Kathleen Carrier, who ran unopposed, in November.
In Will County Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant will be the democrat facing off against Republican Nick Ficarello in the race for Will County Chief Executive Officer this November. Incumbent Larry Walsh decided not to seek re-election after a four term run.
It should be noted, that all results remain until they are canvassed.
Election Judges Shortage
Finding election judges was harder this time around, as many dropped out due to coronavirus concerns. In Will County around 30 community members were brought in to help out with the primary.
“A lot of the replacement judges that came in yesterday we’re going to get them in and have the formally trained so they will be ready to go in November,” said Staley Ferry. “And it will honestly be a recruitment effort for election judges.”
With COVID-19 changing things day-by-day Staley Ferry said Will County is preparing for the November elections like previous presidential elections, but will adjust if necessary.
Other Local Races:
DuPage Circuit Court Clerk
Democrat Candice Adams received about 60% of the votes, and will face Republican Chris Kachiroubas, who ran unopposed, in November.
Other Illinois Primary Election Results
William “Bill” White edged out Bruce Fogerty with around 55% of the votes. White, a Democrat, will face off against Republican Bob Gorgan in November.
18th Judicial Circuit
Republican Richard Felice will face Democrat Azam Nizamuddin in November.
Democrat Jill Otte will face Republican Ann Celine Walsh in November.
Naperville news 17’s Christian Canizal reports.
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