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Peoria County saw lower voter turnout than the last midterm election, while Tazewell County saw an increase from 2018

This midterm election, Peoria and Tazewell Counties saw contrasting turnout rates of voters casting their ballot.

The Peoria County Elections Commission reported no major problems in election operations, but voter turnout yielded lower results than expected.

Executive Director of the Commission, Elizabeth Gannon, said the 2018 midterms saw a 56% turnout, but this year they fell by five to six percentage points.

“It is surprising, I really thought we'd have a bigger turnout than that. We had about 13% of registered voters vote by mail in Peoria County, we had around a 9% turnout for early voting. And that leaves the remainder for Election Day yesterday,” she said.

While Peoria County fell below expected turnout, Tazewell County saw higher turnout than in 2018.

Tazewell County Clerk John Ackerman said the 2018 midterm elections saw a 57% turnout, and this year’s midterm turnout is sitting at almost 59%. He also said as mail-in ballots continue to come in, the county may reach a total of 60% turnout.

Polls in Tazewell County closed at 7 p.m. and Ackerman said 100% of precincts had their results transmitted by 9 p.m.

The increase in Tazewell County voting resulted in a flip of the 21-member county board to all-Republican held positions.

“It will be all Republican for the first time in the county’s history. The county has never had one party rule since the board members were elected independently. So that is a historic marker that has taken place here in Tazewell County,” Ackerman said.

In addition to the historic election results, something Ackerman said he had noticed was voter appreciation for election judges and workers.

“I was hearing lots of comments from voters thanking the election judges for the outstanding job they did yesterday. And that's much appreciated, because I think that those community volunteers sometimes get overlooked,” he said, “That's a long day, a 15 hour day minimum. Most of them were well past 15 hours for their commitment yesterday, and they should be thanked every time for their community service because we can't hold elections without these valuable election judges.”

Information on election results, how to register to vote, mail-in ballot requests, and election judge training can be found on thePeoria County Elections Commission websiteas well as the Tazewell County Clerk website.

Isabela Nieto is a student reporting intern at WCBU. Isabela is also a student at Bradley University in Peoria.