Primary election brings out record number of Illinois voters

Mar 16, 2016

Voters across Illinois went to the polls yesterday ... in what election officials say might have been record turnout in some areas. Heavy turnout in a few​ instances led to polling places running out of ballots.

The final tally of how many people cast votes in the primary won't be available for at least a couple weeks. But Ken Menzel, with the Illinois State Board of Elections, says there seemed to be strong turnout. 

Polling places in Adams and Sangamon counties turned voters away because of ballot shortages. Both counties printed more ballots and extended their voting hours.​

This was the first election where Illinois residents could register and vote on the same day. Menzel says that might have increased participation. 

"It's kind of hard to tell whether these are people who not have otherwise registered or whether if the registration deadline had been last Saturday they'd have taken care of it then."

Early voting in the Chicago area did outpace early voting in 2008. But officials there don't expect total turnout to be as high.