Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Low voter turnout and possible recounts

By Jamey Dunn

Illinois voters didn't flock to the polls for yesterday’s primary election, and multiple recounts may be the result.

As of this morning both Republicans and Democrats do not have an official candidate for governor.

The gap between Sen. Bill Brady, from Bloomington, and Sen. Kirk Dillard, from Hinsdale, is about 750 votes, with Brady holding a slight lead.

Gov. Pat Quinn leads Comptroller Dan Hynes by slightly more than 7,000 votes. Quinn has declared victory but Hynes has not conceded.

Cook County Clerk David Orr shut down vote counting last night. Tallying resumed at 9 this morning with 24 precincts still to be counted. In order to demand a preliminary recount, the losing candidate must be within 5 percentage points of the winner.

According to the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, voter turnout for the city was 26 percent. Political scientist Kent Redfield said that the early primary was probably the main reason for low voter interest. “A month is probably too short,” he said. “Some people stayed home because they just didn’t have any idea. They didn’t have any strong preferences.”

The close races stumped many pollsters. However, at least one contest went as expected. Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk will be battling for President Barack Obama’s former Senate seat.

Check back for results and further analysis.

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