The Nov. 4, 2014 Gubernatorial Election was record-setting for suburban Cook County, with more mail ballots being cast than ever before and a 68.5 percent increase in voting before Election Day. New initiatives to increase voter participation, such as Election Day registration, proved popular, especially among 18-to-34-year-olds, according to a Post-Election Report released today by Cook County Clerk David Orr.
“Measures aimed at expanding access to voting, such as longer hours for early voting and Election Day registration, were a great success in suburban Cook County,” Orr said. “Voters increasingly are casting ballots before Election Day, even if overall turnout stayed flat.”
Highlights from the report, which can be downloaded from the clerk’s website, include:
- Voter turnout in suburban Cook County was 49.8 percent, down from 52.5 turnout in 2010, but in line with turnout for gubernatorial elections over the past two decades, which has averaged about 50 percent.
- Voting before Election Day – by mail or during early voting and grace period voting – grew to more than 26 percent this election, up from 15.4 percent in 2010.
- The 51,237 mail ballots cast exceeded all previous elections in suburban Cook County, with twice as many as in 2010.
- More women than men voted – 54.2 percent vs. 45.8 percent— and voters 65 and older made up about one-third of all voters.
- Election Day registration was popular, as 3,604 people registered for the first time or updated their registration on Nov. 4. The busiest of suburban Cook County’s 18 sites was the Evanston Civic Center, where 455 citizens registered.
- Voters of all ages used Election Day registration, but voters ages 18-34 made up nearly half of participants.
- Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner won the same number of townships – 16 – as Republican Bill Brady had in 2010, but Rauner picked up about 32,000 more votes than Brady.