We can forget about that old adage that weather determines voter turnout. This has been one of the nicest Marches on record, but the electorate in Chicago hasn't exactly been knocking down the doors to get at the early-voting machines. There are too few significant contested elections for that.
in Chicago, the percentage of Republican ballot-takers is way up, but that's no surprise. Four years ago -- when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton topped the Democratic ballot -- 93 percent of ballots in Chicago were Democratic and 6 percent were Republican. This year, with the GOP presidential race still going strong and all quiet on the Democratic presidential front, 15 percent of the ballots have been Republican so far in early voting, which ends today.
That's not necessarily because of crossover voting. The people who are turning out on the Democratic side in a comparatively low-key year like this are the hard-core voters, who may never have missed an election. They still want a Democratic ballot because they are very interested in who wins the primary race for such offices as Circuit Court clerk and Illinois Supreme Court, District One. Switching to a Republican ballot might let them vote for a presidential candidate, but depending on where they live in the city they might not see any race for state representative, state senator, county offices or openings on the bench.
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