NPR from Illinois State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
GLT's coverage of the municipal election on April 2, 2019. Voters will elect members of the Bloomington City Council and Normal Town Council.Learn more about the candidates with our 2019 Voter Guide.

Voter Turnout Low But Slightly Above 2015 Levels

I Voted stickers
Illinois State University
"I Voted" stickers at an Illinois State University polling place.

Local election authorities weren’t expecting a big turnout Tuesday. And they didn’t get one.

Around 11.5 percent of McLean County’s registered voters cast ballots in Tuesday’s municipal elections, according to preliminary tallies from the Bloomington Election Commission and the McLean County clerk's office. Turnout was slightly lower in Bloomington (9.4 percent) than the rest of the county (13.3 percent).

“Our judges who work our Election Day ‘war room,’ who have worked with us for 8 years, say this is the slowest election in memory," said McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael. “Part of that is well-trained judges, few equipment problems, and low voter turnout not generating a lot of calls about voter processing.”

That 11.5 percent is actually up slightly from April 2015—the last municipal election of this kind, without a mayor’s race to drive up public interest. Turnout in 2015 was 10.7 percent. 

In 2017, when there were two mayoral races on the ballot, turnout jumped to between 18 and 21 percent.

Turnout tends to be lower for municipal elections. By contrast, McLean County turnout reached 60 percent in the 2018 election, when congressional, state, and local races were all on the ballot.

People like you value experienced, knowledgeable and award-winning journalism that covers meaningful stories in Bloomington-Normal. To support more stories and interviews like this one, please consider making a contribution.

Ryan Denham is the content director for WGLT and WCBU.
Related Content