Voter Turnout Extremely Low For Illinois Primary

UPDATED: 3/21/2012 – 7:10 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Turnout for Tuesday’s Illinois primary in Chicago was a meager 24 percent, officials said.

It was the lowest turnout for a presidential primary in the past 70 years.

Election officials said a lack of contested races was behind the lackluster activity at the polls.

“It’s very, very disappointing,” said Langdon Neal, chairman of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners. “I think what it indicates is that a lack of a contest on the Democratic side at the top of the ticket really did cause our voters not to be engaged in this election.”

Four years ago, Barack Obama was in a heated primary race with Hillary Clinton. This year, Obama has his sights set on the general election. Meantime, GOP front-runner Mitt Romney, who rolled to an easy win in Illinois over his main rival, Rick Santorum.

But that didn’t equate to enthusiasm for Romney, an expert said.

“You could draw a larger crowd at a Green Bay Packers rally in downtown Chicago than what Mr. Romney delivered yesterday in Illinois,” U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Wednesday on CBS This Morning.

And there are a handful of contested congressional contests, but even that didn’t seem to generate interest.

The other two GOP hopefuls, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, largely ignored Illinois.

Today’s sunny weather was not enough to drive people to their polling places this afternoon.

  • Josh

    Largely ignored Illinois? Ron Paul held a rally at U of I to a crowd of 5000. Liars.

    • moderateGuy

      OK, but a crown of 5000 liars is not really something to crow about, is it?

      • james214

        They were Ron Paul supporters, not Obama supporters.

    • Duffy

      Election Fraud! You can’t draw a crowd of 5000 and get such few votes, THIS IS FRAUD!!!

    • Reason8200

      Chicago spin machine out in full force.

    • Klaus

      State after state, record low turnouts are being reported. That’s what happens when Ron Paul votes are thrown in the trash.

      • sdtrgs

        a vote for any other candidate is a vote for Obama!

      • DesScorp

        That’s what happens when you give us the likes of Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.

        And one more thing:

        Dear Paul Cultists,
        Will you give the rest of us a heads up before you all sip that Kool Aid and sacrifice yourselves for your glorious leader? It’ll make cleaning up easier. Thanks.

      • Linkin

        A vote for Ron Paul is throwing your vote behind the constitution. A vote for any other candidate is a vote for war, bigger government, corruption, and Corporate Fascism.

      • NOBAMA 2012

        Mac is correct. Rest assured that Ron Paul’s message has been heard and many of his ideas will be incorporated into a Republican Presidency. I could easily see Paul having a good job in the new administration too. He has said his intent was to get four basic concepts out to the public. He’s done that. The vote must be for the winner of the Republican primary or we’ll be doomed with another 4 years of Obama. We simply cannot afford to have that happen.

      • Jordan

        Wake up non Paul supporters a vote for Romney, Santorum, or Gingrich is a vote for Obama. Dr. Paul is the only one who can beat Obama. He is the only Veteran in the race. The Republican Party has not had a nominee that wasn’t a veteran since Dewey in 1944.

      • JimCT

        If you vote for Ron Paul and we get Obama for another 4 years, we will have Ron Paul to thank. So please wise up and vote in the election for the Republican (probably Romney), Staying home is a vote for Obama. That we cannot afford.

      • MacBeagle

        When you vote for Ron Paul, you are throwing your vote in the trash.

    • Kelly

      Josh–It was 4,600, and it was people who were bussed in from out of state for the rally. More importantly, itt was five days ago, and Let’s face it, Ron Paul’s weird political viewpoints don’t play well in places with the most voters (e.g., Chicago and suburbs). Urbana-Champagne isn’t exactly a population hub, right?

      • james214

        @Idriveabus “Bussed in my azz.”

        LOL! I’m sorry but that statement was just hilarious.!

      • thedrickster

        To which “weird” political viewpoints do you speak?

      • I Ate A Taco Today

        Probably a low turnout because they were afraid of Eric holder’s people committing crime!-Another-Chicago-Acid-Thrower!&referrerid=0

      • xfactor

        I was at that rally and I can tell you those people were mostly students that showed up for the rally on their own, there were no people bussed in……

      • IdriveaBus

        Bussed in my azz. You complete moron.

    • cletus van damme

      election fraud

  • Amy

    IL voter apathy is pathetic. Slow to vote, quick to complain.

    • CBHOhio

      I just checked the total votes cast…at 99% reporting, there where more than 906,000 votes cast in the 2012 GOP Illinois primary. Clearly more than the 899,000 votes cast in the 2008 primary. Just who is promoting this story line? It has no basis in fact.

      • Jim O'Connor10

        You are correct—people here complaining that there is no excitement in the Republican primary didn’t read the article. Republican turn out wasn’t low. Overall voter turnout was low—-Illinois is a heavily Democratic state. The Republicans came out and voted. The turn out was low on the Democratic side which the article highlighted. As far as the Ron Paul people complaining that he must have had votes thrown out because he had 5000 people at a downstate rally. Well, he did receive 85,464 votes with 99% reporting. So why does there have to be missing votes?

  • Dan

    my ballot in dupage county had 7 unnoposed county position races, the presidential primary, and got to pick from 1 of 3 judges. all in all, not much to vote on.

  • Ne0teric

    You wouldn’t think so at my polling place, otherwise why else would all the illegal electioneers standing 5′ from the door be there?…

  • JoshIsDumb

    Josh, the article’s phrase “largely ignored Illinois” does not make its author a liar even though Paul held a rally at the U of I. If you are a student there, you need to study harder to improve your critical thinking skills.

  • Crimefighter

    Real simple reason for this…this isn’t an open primary state and you have to declare party to vote. People DO NOT LIKE NOR WANT that but the politicians absolutely will not give that up cause they want their mailing list to send their campaign fliers and fundraising letters.

    • Gayle

      When did they change that? When I lived in Illinois several years ago I voted in the Democrat primary even though I had neve declared my party as such. I wanted to take every opportunity to vote against Blago.


        You are asked what party voting slip you wanted, you could choose from Gop Dem Green Ind. Only in primaries do they do this.

    • Dave-O

      Open primaries are ruining this country. The Dems rush into vote for the weakest candidate. I, as an Ind., did this several years ago in NC for John Edwards. Now he’s on his way to jail and I won’t get to vote for him anymore! I also did it during Operation Chaos 4 yrs. ago.
      John Eff-ing McCain won nearly all the Open Primay states 4 years ago. He should be the ‘Poster Child’ for banning them altogether. Better to have serious voters at the polls.

      • Perspective

        Agreed. I hate “open primaries”. Why bother having a Democrat primary if Repubs can vote? And vice versa? It makes no sense.

    • Karenesq

      I tried to change my registration to Independent because neither party represents my views. But of course that meant I couldn’t vote. So my views were not counted today in Springfield, Illinois.

      • Mark

        Oh come on Karen…. what are you , a communist or something? Just pick a side, and demonize the other side… it’s the New American Way. Never, Ever, compromise… just demonize the other side. It’s your way, or the highway.

  • Illinois Primary Thread - Page 5 - City-Data Forum

    […] […]

  • Lickerface

    Voting for the least liberal Republican…or Ron Paul the conservative that no one believes can win and has been beaten down in the popular punditry and press. And who is wondering why the turnout is amazingly low?

    • Kelly

      Reason voter turnout is low is that there is no chance that Illinois will vote for any of the republicans in the presidential election, and because there are no other close races. Its amazing anybody showed up.

  • Ron Paul

    Simple solution to increase turnout. Stop the media blackout of Ron Paul.

  • No GOP Voters in Illinois !? .("Lowest ever turnout")...

    […] […]

  • Elly

    I voted, where I went only 178 people had come to vote. It’s sad, really… then again, I suppose everyone feels defeated…

    • SRS

      Republcan vote 900,000+ in this 2012 Illinois primary. 2008 primary under 900,000. Media not reporting the facts. Democratic turnout down. Republican turnout up.

    • Dave-O

      At my poll, I was always around number 125 for 20 years, then Obama got in, and at the 2010 vote I had to wait in line for the first time in my life. I was number 628. People came out of the woodwork to vote against corruption!

  • Steve Thompson

    Here’s what Rick Santorum has to say about America’s pornography industry and the use of contraceptives by married couples:

    While America does not seem to be enthralled with Mr. Romney, should Mr. Santorum ever reach the Oval Office, we won’t recognize the “New America”.

    • jamal Jackson

      Romney’s a Mormon with some weird beliefs. Does that mean he’ll impose his crazy beliefs on you if he’s president? Well, neither will Santorum.
      On the porn issue, by your outrage looks like you are into pornography. Please try to give it up since it’s damaging to you and your family. You need help. So Santorum’s stance on it will help people like you in the long run.

    • Dave-O

      At least he’s American.

      • NOBAMA 2012

        Agree 100% Dave-O. I’m so tired of having to monitor everything this administration is doing to hurt regular Americans.

        I also agree with Santorum. The advent of the internet has created significant problems due to excessively hardcore pornography. It’s not healthy and distorts thinking about normal sexual relations.

        As far as birth control, each of us remain free to choose whatever we wish to do. Nobody is attempting to change the status quo, contrary to the red herring that Obama has tossed out there.

      • Dave-O

        And a Christian.

  • NOBAMA 2012

    How about we all decide to turn out in droves in November, bringing a friend, and oust this embarrassment that is from our State in D.C.? We CAN turn IL red if Chicago doesn’t cheat too badly. We outnumber Chicago by a wide margin and they are at the lowest number of registered voters since 1942. TURN IL RED! Enough is enough. No more Obama!

    • claire

      Hell, yeah!!

      • NOBAMA 2012

        Claire — Yes we can!


    First time I did not have to show any ID here in IL. My county had steady turnout all day.

    While I was standing there a lady(Dem) told them a different address than they had and the election lady said “that is ok it was a clerical problem on their system”. No ID or voter card was asked for, how did she know where the problem was? I think the GOP election officials need to check in the Dems and vice versa.

    I asked if they wanted to see my ID and she said no. This was the first time ever that I was not asked for my voter card. Instead of asking how to spell my last name all they need to do is LOOK AT MY FLIPPING VOTER CARD. They do not even do a simple check of the signature against your voter card. PLEASE tell me WHY do we need to sign the voter card if no one checks it? It takes 3 seconds to look.

    • Perspective

      Yup…this is why the Democrats are against Voter ID…the better to cheat with.

    • NOBAMA 2012

      We sign a paper right in front of the judge. Then they compare our signature with the one that is on file in their big books. That’s the way it’s always been.

      In your case, you need to call the board of elections to clarify what rules apply in your precinct. Let them know about the incident you described. We may want to get plenty of Republicans registered as Poll Watchers for the November elections. Their presence will send the message to those who want to bend the rules.

  • No GOP Voters in Illinois !? ("Lowest ever turnout")... - Christian Forums

    […] […]

  • Political Thread - Page 2567 - Fires of Heaven Guild Message Board

    […] at Mitt Romney and said "Meh, I guess he is better than the Church Lady…". Mitt takes Illinois. Voter Turnout Extremely Low For Illinois Primary […]

  • American_League

    Of course it was a low voter turnout. Republicans don’t allow the dead to vote in their elections.

    • NOBAMA 2012

      LOL !! Amazes me how easily liberals lie, cheat, and hate, all with a straight face and phony indignation.

  • iambicpentamaster

    I can’t imagine why more GOP primary voters didn’t show up to vote for Newt Obamney…

  • Grace Huang

    Gee, no turnout for Illinois? Ya think?? This place is SO leveraged, SO corrupt, SO fixed, that no one believes their vote is even counted. I honestly think my sheet goes directly into a shredder. How else to explain a state on the brink, yet “the people” vote hitting the gas to speed into oblivion? No vote is counted. It’s all done behind closed doors, and you have no say. Just shut up and pay your highest-in-the-nation’s taxes.

  • Emery

    We give Russia and Syria and Iran a hard time about elections but we have the two most corrupt political parties in the history of the free world. The Democrats and Republicans. Why should people turn out? Chicago is the center of political corruption. Its a been decided like a WWE match. Romney is the heel in the 2012 election. The designated loser – like McCain and Bob Dole..

    Ron Paul brought a glimmer of hope to a corrupt process called democracy. The GOP made sure he was negated and many Republicans helped them out. Fox News and Clear Channel are just propaganda tools for controlling Republicans and conservatives – whatever the hell that is these days. Looks likes its working.

  • sdtrgs

    I love all the people here that think they are educated voters and are still talking Democrat and Republican as if both parties corruption doesn’t lead to the same place. LOL “My party is less corrupt than yours” LMAO

  • Lionel Mandrake

    Is it possible voter turnout was low because the Republican candidates are a joke? Obama’s got IL, move on.

  • thedrickster

    Perhaps it is simply a case of waning “consent” of the governed?

  • CBS News: Romney to win Illinois primary – CBS News | Baton Rouge Christian Radio

    […] With 48 percent of precincts reporting, Romney had 207,081 votes to Santorum’s 146,370 votes. Ron Paul was in third with 38,789 votes, and Newt Gingrich in fourth with 32,921 votes. Turnout was light in the state. […]

  • CBS News: Romney to win Illinois primary « Breaking News | Latest News | Current News

    […] With 63 percent of precincts reporting, Romney had 265,509 votes to Santorum’s 196,507 votes. Ron Paul was in third with 51,730 votes, and Newt Gingrich in fourth with 44,437 votes. Turnout was light in the state. […]

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