The surge in contested races and candidates running for municipal offices in the April Consolidated Elections has not translated into an equal increase turnout in McLean County, though there will likely be some improvement over four years ago.
Following the November election, significant political activity began to happen among some constituencies in McLean County.
Democrats fielded a large slate of candidates in Normal Township for the first time in years. Libertarians also filed in Normal Township. And additional candidates filed to run even in small towns and other governmental bodies throughout the county, according to County Clerk Kathy Michael.
There was even a mayoral primary election in the city of Bloomington triggered by five candidates running for that office.
Bloomington Election Commission Director Paul Shannon said early and mail-in voting is higher than in 2013, but not significantly.
"I'm guessing probably somewhere between 20 and 25 percent turnout. The last race for mayor we had a 20 percent turnout. I think it's going to be right in line," said Shannon.
Turnout for the mayoral primary February 28 in Bloomington was 15 percent.
McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael said early and mail-in ballots now are about where they were on Election Day in 2013.
"We're averaging about 30 to 40 a day. So we're going to be a little ahead of that 500 figure from four years ago. If I had to guess, I'd hope it's going to be more than 25 percent," said Michael.
Turnout four years ago in Normal and the County was 20 percent. So far both election districts report 1,350 early and mail-in ballots: 850 in Bloomington and about 500 at the county clerk's office.
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