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Local News

County Clerk says early voting numbers 'typically low' for local election

Kendall County Clerk Debbie Gillette works at her desk Wednesday, March 20, at the county government building, 111 W. Fox St. in Yorkville. Gillette said early voting numbers are low, but typical for a local election a few days after early voting began in Oswego and Plano.
Kendall County Clerk Debbie Gillette works at her desk Wednesday, March 20, at the county government building, 111 W. Fox St. in Yorkville. Gillette said early voting numbers are low, but typical for a local election a few days after early voting began in Oswego and Plano.

YORKVILLE – As of late morning Wednesday, March 20, 304 voters had cast ballots at the Yorkville early voting location, which opened Feb. 21, while 725 and 31 votes had been cast at the Oswego and Plano locations, respectively, after they opened Monday, March 18.

Debbie Gillette, who has been Kendall County Clerk for 10 years, said the early voting turnout has been low so far, but typical for a local election. She said the early voter numbers to date are similar to what the office saw for the 2015 election.

Gillette said it’s difficult to gauge what the true normal for voter turnout is because every election is different, with different candidates, races and issues taking the ballots every time.

“It’s really hard to say what one thing would help bring people out, because everyone’s different,” Gillette said.

Gillette said she didn’t have a breakdown of voting by age for early voting numbers so far. She said that isn’t something the office typically tracks for early voting or day-of voter turnout.

Gillette said school referendums appearing on the ballot, such as the Oswego School District 308 referendum this time around, tend to have an impact on voter turnout, especially if the referendum involves the question on whether to raise taxes. She said she encourages residents to look up issues like those to make a more informed decision at the polls, especially if they’re not sure how it’s going to impact them.

Gillette said not everybody chooses to exercise their right to vote and people seem to be more inclined to participate more in presidential elections than local ones.

During the 2015 local elections, about 12 percent of registered voters in Kendall County cast ballots. About 72 percent of registered voters in the county voted in the 2016 presidential election.

Especially with school board races this time around that could affect tax bills, Gillette said, it’s important for residents to consider voting in local elections.

“Because they’re making big tax decisions that really impact what your tax bill looks like,” Gillette said.

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