Low local turnout for Illinois primary elections - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Low local turnout for Illinois primary elections

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As the numbers began to trickle in for Tuesday night's Illinois primary elections, many eyes were on the governor's race. The race was close throughout the night, but Bruce Rauner was declared the winner of the Republican primary. He will go up against Gov. Pat Quinn in the November election.

Randy Frese came out on top for State Representative of the 94th District for the Republican primary with 70 percent of the votes.

Chuck Venvertloh won the Republican primary for Adams County Clerk/Recorder with 41 percent of the votes.

Nauvoo-Colusa approved a $0.55 tax hike, with 80 percent voting in favor of the hike.

Voter turnout appeared was light Tuesday in Illinois' primary elections.

Adams County Clerk Georgia Volm said polls were slow all through the afternoon.

Hancock County Clerk Kerry Asbridge said Tuesday's voter turnout could be near a record low, with less than 3,000 voters by the time the polls close.

Pike County Clerk Donnie Apps had said he expected a low number of voters, although he says a few more non-partisan ballots than normal were punched. Voters in Pike County were voting on a referendum to add a one percent sales tax to help fund the county's four school districts.

Topping the statewide ballot was choosing the Republican candidates for governor and lieutenant governor. Four candidates competed for the top GOP nomination. The winner faces Democratic Governor Pat Quinn in November. The position previously held by Representative Jil Tracy, of the 94th District, is also up for grabs.

WGEM caught up with Tracy at the polls Tuesday morning. She's the lieutenant governor running mate for gubernatorial candidate Kirk Dillard.

Tracy cast her ballot at Columbus Road Baptist Church in Quincy with her husband, Jim, and daughter, Kelsey.

"We've done everything we can to get our message out and we think we've got the momentum and we've peaked at just the right time and people are really understanding our message and that's the message they want for Illinois," Tracy said.

Tracy was headed to DuPage County to meet up with Dillard, where they'll watch the returns come in at their watch party in Downers Grove.

This is also the first primary election 17-year-olds in the state can vote.  They must be 18 by the November election.

Adams County Clerk Georgia Volm says 17-year olds take a photo ID to the polls, and the same goes for any first-time voter. Volm says between 75 to 100 17-year olds registered to vote in Adams County, and she says that is a good number for the first year.

"It was kind of a time frame there where how many 17-year olds are going to be 18 by that time," Volm said. "So I thought that was a really good number. We had several high schools in Adams County that really pursued it, pushed it and got their students out, so it was good."

Volm says Quincy Senior High, Quincy Notre Dame, Camp Point/Central and other area schools let 17-year-olds sign up in class.

Volm says while a photo ID is only required for first-time voters, it's a good idea for everyone to take it with them to the polls. She says election workers will match the signature to the one on file. If the signature is challenged, you will have to show a photo ID.

Voting in primary elections are generally lower than in general elections, says Volm. She says one reason is because it decides who will run in the general election, and does not elect an official to a seat in government.  Regardless, Volm says it's important to get out and vote.

"I think it's important to always withhold your civic right to vote, regardless if it's in a primary or whether it's a general election," Volm said. "The candidates you are selecting are going to represent you. So, get the candidates nominated now that you want to go further into the general election by going out to vote."
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