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Voting turnouts above 70 percent for area counties

Unofficial 82 percent turnout for Ogle County

Eighty-two percent of registered voters cast ballots in the Nov. 3 election.

Ogle County election totals were delayed with unofficial totals not being reported until around 11:30 p.m.

A press release issued by County Clerk Laura Cook said there would be a delay for the 90th representative district due to electronic vote tabulators not reading oval marks correctly. A retabulation will be required. Democratic and Republican Party Chairpersons have been apprised of the situation, Cook said in a press release.

Cook’s office will begin the re-tabulation process on Nov. 5. Despite the issue, Cook said turnout numbers were very strong, bettering 2016 totals by 14 percent.

Election judges fielded calls from people who hadn’t voted in 15-20 years, some not knowing which precinct to go to, a phenomenon the county also saw in 2016, where it had a record turnout of 73 percent, Cook said.

“Today’s turnout was pretty big,” Cook said.

Cook predicted that the 2016 record will be broken due to half of her registered voters already voting early or by mail before Tuesday.

Ogle County election judges were “pretty good” at crowd control and solving issues for voters on election day, Cook said. She also said she’s ready to put the election year of 2020 to bed.

“I think it’s an experience I never want to go back though again,” Cook said. “With COVID-19 and everything, it was just completely different than what we’re used to.”

Whiteside County Clerk Dana Nelson called election day “smooth” compared to how hectic the past 40 days have been with early and mail-in voting work.

Her county saw 27,501 ballots cast with all 61 precincts counted on election night. There are 38,436 registered voters in the county. Turnout was 71.6 percent.

“I was surprised,” Nelson said of in-person voters on Tuesday. “I didn’t think it’d be that high at the polls. Four years ago we were at 26,000 total votes. This year we had 13,000 just from early and mail-in voting. We did 68.5 percent voting four years ago.”

Nelson said her office had a busy day doing new registration and change of address for people. Out at the polls, things were smooth with no issues, she said, with a “decent turnout.”

“I’d like to thank everyone for being respectful and coming out,” Nelson said. “There were no issues and we didn’t know what to expect with masks and potential volatility on both sides.”

Lee County reported 16,457 ballots cast as of 9:45 p.m. Tuesday with 22,291 registered voters in the county. That made for a 73.8 percent turnout.

County Clerk Cathy Myers called the turnout Tuesday “heavy” in a very busy day for her staff and election judges. She expected a high turnout going into Tuesday.

“We’ve seen high numbers here at the courthouse, so I knew,” Myers said. “Everything went smoothly. I think we did fabulous. I believe we’ve got a bigger turnout than in 2016.”

Carroll County voters cast 8,087 ballots as of 9:45 p.m. Tuesday with all of its 23 precincts reporting. Carroll has 10,424 registered voters.

County Clerk Brian Woessner called the day “extremely active” and the turnout ended up at 77.5 percent.

Fifty percent of Carroll County’s ballots cast will end up being from early voting, Woessner said.

As far as at the polls on election day, election judges in the county didn’t encounter any issues, Woessner said.

“It was very peaceful,” Woessner said. “There were no skirmishes or anything at the precincts. We’re appreciative of that. There were small lines but everyone was social distancing.”

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