Turnout in Tuesday’s election fell slightly in McLean County from the last gubernatorial primary in 2014—though a much larger percentage of voters took Democratic ballots.
The county saw around 26.1 percent of registered voters cast ballots Tuesday, including City of Bloomington voters, election results show. That’s down slightly from 2014, when county turnout hit 30.4 percent and city turnout was 26.6 percent. (The county has two different election authorities.)
Around 46 percent of McLean County voters overall chose a Democratic ballot, based on an estimate of votes in the governor’s race. In 2014, just 13.5 percent of ballots cast were Democratic, though in that year there was no contested Democratic race for governor; incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn was seeking re-election against then-Republican challenger Bruce Rauner.
Democrats are hoping to make inroads in traditionally red McLean County in November, challenging Republican incumbents in many more county and state races than ever before. Local Democrats have been energized since the election of President Donald Trump in 2016.
Voter turnout seemed anemic Tuesday afternoon at Bloomington’s Trinity Lutheran Church, which includes two southwest Bloomington precincts. Just under 300 people voted as of 4 p.m.
Voter Oliver Noh is like many who wishes Illinois had an open primary.
“If I’m going to vote for the best person, why do I need to declare a party?” Noh said, adding he was pleased with the candidates on his ballot. “There’s a lot of people running, so that’s a good thing.”
Voting For Governor
McLean County voters bucked the trend in the Democratic race for governor.
State Sen. Daniel Biss, who spent a lot of time campaigning on college campuses like Illinois State University, won McLean County with 45.3 percent of the vote, with JB Pritzker running second. But Pritzker ultimately won the Democratic nomination with strong showings elsewhere in the state.
On the Republican side, Rauner won McLean County with 53.4 percent of the vote over GOP challenger Jeanne Ives, a state representative from Wheaton. His statewide margin was narrower (51.7 percent).
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