Orr urges suburban voters to participate April 5

March 23, 2005
Press Release

More than 1.4 million registered voters are eligible to vote in close to 1,100 election races across the suburbs on April 5, Cook County Clerk David Orr announced.

All 586 cities and villages; school, library and fire districts; townships; and other local jurisdictions in suburban Cook County will have races on the ballot.

Currently, 2,896 candidates and 68 referendums are set to appear on ballots in 2,402 precincts. Residents can visit the clerk’s election website www.voterinfonet.com to view a complete list of candidates and the 1,067 ballot races.

Voter turnout for local races is often lower than during presidential elections (see fact sheet below), but Orr has encouraged all suburban residents to take part in the local elections.

“The races on April 5 affect the daily lives of our residents in their communities,” Orr said. “This is an opportunity to shape policy on a local level.”

Orr has offered some tips and reminders so voters know what to expect before they head out to vote on Election Day.

Verify your registration and know your polling place. The Clerk’s office is making special efforts to emphasize that voters should verify their voter registration and know their precinct and polling place location. Voters can visit the Clerk’s interactive website – www.voterinfonet.com – or call (312) 603-0906. In addition, all suburban Cook County households with registered voters will receive a pre-election mailer that provides the polling place name and address and how-to-vote instructions.

Provisional voting rights. Under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), every voter has the right to cast a provisional ballot if their registration is not found or their eligibility to vote is questioned at the polls. Provisional ballots are segregated on Election Day and only counted later if the Clerk’s office determines each voter is registered to vote.

Bring identification. Under federal law, election authorities must confirm the identity of first-time voters who register to vote using the mail-in registration form. If a voter does not include an Illinois driver’s license number on the form, or a copy of acceptable ID with a name or current address, he or she will have to show ID at the polls before voting for the first time.

Check for chads. Before leaving the voting booth, voters should check both sides of their ballot for hanging or dimpled chads. Voters should remove any loose chads before placing the ballot into the ballot counter.

Know your ballot. Voters living in suburban Cook County can visit www.voterinfonet.com and type in their address to download a virtual ballot, which lists all the candidates who will appear on their polling place ballot. The Clerk’s office has invited each candidate to submit a written statement detailing their background and positions on the issues. If a candidate submitted a statement, their name has been highlighted so voters can click on the hyperlink to read the statement.

April 5, 2005 Consolidated Election
Suburban Cook County Statistics

Election Day Facts
Registered voters 1,417,996

Races on the ballot 1,067

Candidates in all races 2,896

Referendums 68

Jurisdictions holding elections 586

Ballot styles 821
(different ballot formats)

Election Day Facts

Election Registered voters Ballots cast Turnout
1999 general 1,302,197 262,568 20.1%
2001 primary 173,823 37,318 21.5%
2001 general 1,345,062 377,595 28.1%
2003 primary 80,303 24,149 30.0%
2003 general 1,321,089 300,484 22.7%
2005 primary 284,952 49,136 17.2%
2005 general 1,417,996 -- --