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DeKalb County voter turnout approaches that of recent presidential elections

November 7, 2018

SYCAMORE – Voter turnout in DeKalb County for the election that ended Tuesday approached that of recent presidential elections, officials said.

According to unofficial totals from the DeKalb County Clerk’s office, 36,439 registered voters in the county cast ballots in the 2018 midterm election, either by voting early, by mail, or on Election Day, for a turnout of 61.4 percent.

For the 2016 presidential election, there was a turnout of about 67 percent. In 2014, the last midterm election, there was almost 49 percent voter participation.

DeKalb County Clerk Doug Johnson, who won his own hard-fought race to remain in office Tuesday, said that the vote went smoothly, “just the way it was supposed to.” There were more than 8,600 early votes cast, along with 1,370 mailed-in ballots.

“Early voting almost hit the number presidential elections did, but not quite,” Johnson said. “Early voting was good, higher than it’s every been for a midterm election. ... Turnout was great. For the 2016 presidential election, we had about 70 percent, so about 65 percent for a mid-term election is fantastic. It shows that both parties came out and pushed.”

Ivan Arreola was two days too young to vote in the midterm elections Tuesday, so he had to settle for volunteering as an election judge.

Arreola, 17, had never been in a polling place before he volunteered to help with voting at Fox Valley Older Adult Services, 1406 Suydam Road in Sandwich.

“The voting process is something I learned about in school, but I have never experienced in real life until now,” he said. “In movies, there’s always lines out the door and it’s super busy. Everyone says it’s pretty busy today, but to me, it just seems normal.”

Mary Keeton, a volunteer election judge for about 10 years, said the participation was noticeably high for a midterm vote.

“We’ve been busy all day,” Keeton said. “It’s hard to compare to a presidential election, but it has been busy. Almost all of the voting booths have been full throughout the day.”

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