New Congressman to be Chosen This Week
Elections are usually held on Tuesdays but this week a special general election will be held in west central Illinois on Thursday. Voters can head to the polls on September 10 to decide a single contest: for Congress in the 18th District.
The district has been without representation in Congress since Republican Aaron Schock resigned at the end of March amid spending scandals. The special general election pits Republican Darin LaHood against Democrat Rob Mellon, who won their respective special primaries in July.
McDonough County Clerk Gretchen DeJaynes said voters in her county should head to their regular polling place on Thursday.
“We’re creatures of habit. It’s too difficult to have people know where to go if you change their polling place (just for the special elections),” DeJaynes said.
DeJaynes said she’s overseen elections for 15 years and has never held one on a day other than a Tuesday. But she said special elections can be scheduled for any day of the week.
DeJaynes said early voting for the special election did not generate much action – only about 1% of voters cast ballots. She said early voting typically draws 15% - 20%. She said based on the low turnout for early voting, she’s hoping for a turnout of 10% for the special election.
DeJaynes said the special primary for the seat ended up costing her office about $33,000. She hopes to keep the cost for the special general election under $30,000. Still, her office’s bottom line took a hit due to the special elections.
“Statutorily we are required to do it and the county is required to pay,” DeJaynes said.
“I don’t like being over budget. This will be the first time in nine years my budget columns have a negative. I do not like that. Obviously I couldn’t plan for it.”
She doubts the county will bill Schock for the cost because statutes don’t require him to pay.