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Election

DeKalb County Clerk: Some long lines, but a smooth election

About 100 people waited outside NIU polling place; Clinton carries DeKalb Co.

DeKALB – Late voter registrations and technical issues at the polls caused reporting delays for a few DeKalb County precincts before all 65 were accounted for about midnight Tuesday.

DeKalb County Clerk Doug Johnson’s office received all precincts’ reports by 11:45 p.m. and last updated the numbers on its website by 12:10 a.m. Wednesday.

The office reported that 43,784 votes were cast out of 60,511 registered DeKalb County voters, a turnout of 72.4 percent.

The percentage was slightly higher than in President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election (71.5 percent), but lower than Obama’s first successful run for the presidency in 2008, when turnout was 74.4 percent.

Unofficial returns showed that Hillary Clinton outpolled Donald Trump in the county, with Clinton garnering 20,348 votes, or 46.9 percent to 19,051 votes, or 43.9 percent, for Trump. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson received 2,463 votes, or 5.7 percent of the total. Green Party nominee Jill Stein received 743 votes, or 1.7 percent. There also were 803 write-ins.

Doug Johnson said people were lined up for Election Day registration late into the evening, including about 100 people who were still waiting at 7 p.m. at a polling place at Northern Illinois University’s Holmes Student Center. ​Although polls were to close at 7 p.m., anyone who was in line by that time had to be allowed to vote, Johnson said.

“We take our time and get things done right,” he said.

This was the first election when voters could register and vote at their polling place on Election Day in DeKalb County, and the late influx of voters in some locations took more time than usual.

“It takes a lot longer than people who were ready and registered on time,” Johnson said. “But, we were very pleased with the way registrations went and how quickly they got through the line.”

Election Day registration was allowed statewide and required voters to provide two forms of identification, with one proving their current address. Grace period registration and voting began Oct. 12, and early voting was available for 40 days before the election.

In some polling places, the vote-counting machines hadn’t been turned on properly by the election judges or were malfunctioning for other reasons, which is not unusual for an election night, Johnson said. A glitch at Westminster Presbyterian Church caused an additional delay for two DeKalb precincts to report, he said.

Technicians were able to fix the machines so that all votes were counted and reported, Johnson said.

“For this election, I’m just tickled pink that everything went as smoothly as it did,” he said. “We had no issues.”

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