High Turn Out of Voters Head to the Polls in Champaign County
Champaign County clerk Mark Shelden said he expects a near-record turnout by the time polls close Tuesday night.
Shelden said he thinks more than 55,000 voters will make it to the polls, which is well above the 2002 record for a non-presidential election year. By contrast, Shelden said more than 84,000 Champaign County residents voted in the 2008 presidential race.
"We had to bring a few ballots out to places, especially federal only ballots," Shelden said. "I think we're seeing kind of a significant uptick in those ballots, and those are people who didn't get their addresses updated in time."
Election judges at two Champaign polling sites report that there has been a steady stream of voters coming in throughout the day. About 400 people cast their ballots by Tuesday afternoon at St. John's Lutheran Church. At the McKinley Foundation, things were slower, as they often are for Campustown polling sites. Still, more than 40 came in by late morning while as many as four had to wait in line.
At The Church of Christ on Philo Road, voter Melanie Kruger said she rarely misses an election, and used this one to take some frustration out on incumbents by choosing third-party candidates in some races.
"I'm just tired of people getting into the office, and then seeming to put priority on their party rather than on their constituents," Kruger said. "I don't know how else to protest."
Shelden said more than 6,000 votes were cast well before Tuesday's opening of the polls, and he said a few more absentee ballots will trickle in over the next few days. He added that there have been few minor problems at a couple of Champaign County polling places with tabulators, but he said those problems were eventually resolved with no effect on voting.
(Photo by Jeff Bossert/WILL)