About 38% of Chicago voters cast ballots in the March 17 Primary Election, a decline from the 53.5% turnout rate in the 2016 Primary. Nevertheless, voters broke records. Almost 50% of voters chose to vote early or by mail rather than voting in their home precinct on Election Day.
Though turnout was lower for this election than in 2016, it was higher than the 29% turnout for the city’s 2018 mid-term Primary Election.
Statewide, nearly 2.3 million voters cast ballots, for a 28.4% turnout rate. Suburban Cook County saw a 25.6% turnout rate.
Early and Mail-In Voting Beats Records
The number of voters who cast ballots in person on Election Day, March 17, 2020 in Chicago accounted for about 51% of all ballots cast, according to a final report from election officials. More than 200,268 people voted early, which bested the old record of 140,000 early votes cast in the 2016 Primary Election. More than 83,000 people voted by mail, also a new record.
How Does Chicago Turnout Compare?
More people in Orange County, California, voted in the March 3 Primary Election than in any presidential primary since 2000, according to the county registrar of voters’ office. The final vote tally was 817,844, or 50.1% of the county’s 1.6 million registered voters. The turnout was 18.2% higher than in 2016 and 91.5% more than in 2012, the registrar’s office said.
Turnout was also high (61%) for San Francisco voters (305,000 of 503,000 registered voters). However, turnout was only 15% for the March 17 Primary in Miami Dade County, Florida, and 12% overall for the Texas Primary Election.
Primary Election Data Summary
From Helene Gabelnick, LWV Chicago Voter Service Chair
Voter turnout in Chicago: 37.8%
- Registered Voters: 1,524,598
- Ballots Cast: 575,985
This includes the 49.2% of voters (283,639) who did not vote in their home precinct on Election Day.
Early Voting: 200,268
Vote By Mail: 83,361
- Ballots Requested: 117,118
- Ballots Returned and Counted: 83,361
- Ballots Returned and Rejected: 8,622
Voter turnout in suburban Cook County: 25.6%
- Registered Voters: 1,570,127
- Ballots Cast: 402,071
Voter turnout in Illinois: 28.36%
- Registered Voters: 8,036,534
- Ballots Cast: 2,279,439
The Chicago Board of Elections issued the proclamation of results on April 6. Check out the detailed report. The state Board of Elections issued the proclamation of results on April 17.