Nearly 3-in-5 Chicagoans voted early or by mail in Feb. 28 primary
Chicago Board of Elections stats show nearly 57% Chicagoans voted early or by mail in the primary election Feb. 28. Almost three times more voters cast their ballot by mail than during the 2o19 primary.
It will be several weeks before results from the April 4 consolidated election that put Brandon Johnson in the mayor’s office are certified, but chances are the data will still show voters prefer something other than showing up at the polls on Election Day.
That was the trend for the Feb. 28 primary election that narrowed the nine mayoral contenders to Johnson and Paul Vallas. The primary saw nearly 57% of Chicagoans vote early or by mail. Almost three times more voters cast their ballot by mail than during the 2019 primary, city Board of Elections data shows.
About 36% of Chicagoans turned out to vote in the 2023 primary election, roughly half a percent more than four years earlier. But while the share of votes cast in-person on Election Day dropped sharply from 67% to 43%, adoption of alternative voting methods offset the decline.
More than 25% of Chicago primary voters cast their ballot early, up from about 22% in the 2019 primary, according to a Freedom of Information Act request received March 7. Nearly 31% mailed their ballots after voting from the comfort of their homes, up from just 10% four years ago.
While in-person voting declined precipitously from the past primary, Baby Boomer voters (ages 59 to 77) led the Election Day voting effort by casting 31% of the in-person vote followed by GenX voters (ages 43 to 58) at 30%.
About 27% of the additional primary voters who waited in line to cast their ballots were also millennials aged 27 to 42. But less than 7% of Chicagoans who voted in-person were Silent Generation (78 to 95) and less than 6% were GenZ (ages 18 to 26.)
According to The Associated Press, Johnson won the runoff election April 4 with 51% of the vote. The Cook County commissioner and Chicago Teachers Union lobbyist is now to be inaugurated as the 57th mayor of Chicago on May 15.