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Unofficial results calculate about 23.5 percent voter turnout for 2017 election

Bob Hadley, an election judge for DeKalb’s 14th Precinct, noticed that voter turnout for Tuesday’s consolidated elections was steady but slow.

“Turnout was somewhere between a stream and a trickle all day,” Hadley said. He added jokingly, “I don’t know, maybe if we offered doughnuts or coffee it would draw more people.”

Polls were open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 40 voting locations throughout DeKalb County.

This year, more people voted than in previous years of consolidated elections. According to unofficial returns, 14,528 people had voted at the polls by late Tuesday, with all of the county’s 65 precincts reporting. According to DeKalb County Clerk Doug Johnson’s office, 61,914 people were registered to vote in DeKalb County this year.

The unofficial voter turnout at the polls was 23.46 percent. Voter turnout for the consolidated election in 2015 was 8 percent; in 2013 it was 22 percent, and in 2011 it was 12 percent.

Voters also could register before voting Tuesday at three registration centers: the DeKalb Township Building in DeKalb, Northern Illinois University’s Holmes Student Center and the Sycamore Administration Building in Sycamore. Unofficially, 60 people registered to vote at the polls.

Johnson said voting turnout was “good,” with many people voting after work between 5 and 6 p.m. Johnson correctly predicted a higher voter turnout because of the contested mayoral races in DeKalb, Cortland and Sycamore and the contested village president races in Kirkland and Waterman.

“I’m happy with the voter turnout, but we could always do better,” Johnson said. “The election process went smoothly, thanks to staff and the election judges.”

According to unofficial counts of early voting, which closed at 4:30 p.m. Monday, 2,087 people, or 3.37 percent of voters, voted early. The five early voting locations included sites in DeKalb, Kirkland, Sandwich, Sycamore and at NIU.

“This year, the early-voting numbers were not where we’d like to seem them,” Johnson said. “In consolidated elections, voters usually come in to vote the day of the election, rather than taking advantage of early voting.”

Kadie Threloff of DeKalb’s 13th Precinct said she was surprised how few people were voting at Hopkins Park Terrace Room in DeKalb.

“Voting is important to me, especially since I was unhappy with the most recent election’s results,” Threloff said. “I wanted to have my voice heard, because these topics, like taxes and the mayor, affect my life every day.”

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