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Voter Turnout Drops in McHenry County

In 2012, 66.1 percent of McHenry County voters cast their ballot, which is much lower than the 70.2 percent who voted in 2008.

Last week's election saw the lowest voter turnout since 2000 in McHenry County, according to preliminary voting results. 

In total, 134,328 of the 203,225 registered voters in the county cast their ballot on Nov. 6. That amounts to 66.1 percent of registered voters, according to preliminary numbers from the McHenry County Clerk's office. 

While well above the national average of 57.5 percent overall voter turnout, this year's turnout in McHenry County was four percentage points lower than the 2008 election.

In 2008, 70.2 percent of McHenry County voters cast their ballot—the highest voter turnout for the county over the past four presidential elections. 

The 2008 election also went down in McHenry County history as the first time the majority of voters choose a democratic president. In total, 51.8 percent of voters picked Obama over the 46.4 percent that voted for Republican candidate John McCain.

This year, the county reverted back to its traditional political leanings. Republican candidate Mitt Romney, with 71,488 votes in McHenry County, captured 53.4 percent of the votes.

Here is a breakdown of voter turnout in McHenry County for the 2004 and 2000 elections:

  • In 2004, 68.7 percent of voters made it out to the polls in McHenry County to vote in the presidential election between incumbent Republican candidate George W. Bush and democratic candidate John Kerry. 
  • In 2000, 65.9 percent of voters registered voters cast their ballot in the county — the lowest number over the past four elections. During that election, Bush narrowly won over democratic candidate Al Gore. 
Year Registered Voters   Total Voters  

Voter Turnout

2012 203,225 134,328 66.1% 2008 199,378 140,002 
70.2% 2004 186,934 128454 68.7% 2000 161,637 106,528 65.9%

Area Voters Sound Off

Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Patch Facebook followers sounded off Friday on the changes they would like to see over the next four years and why they decided to cast their ballot in this past election. 

Here are some of those comments: 

  • Janet Marie Rabig: Why did I vote: I have a child and I am a woman and a Christian; my voice should be heard. 
  • Andrea Baros Swanson: Voter ID to vote to help get rid of voter fraud for either party. Also get rid of the electoral college.
  • Rick Reinacher: I would like to see the Democratic Party get larger in Mchenry County. One party rule isn't right.
  • Dennis Judd Approximately 53% of the population over 18 voted which I would are makes determining President via popular vote a bad idea. I don't like the Electoral college system but it compensates for people at least.
    Personally, I also feel that these sudden GOP driven voter ID laws are a solution in search of a problem. The only documented voter fraud in a wide scale recently has all been by Republicans. As a father of three humans that now have to live in this world we created I felt I had to vote to prevent a candidate whose positions were clearly against my moral compass (not to mention his history and inconsistencies).
  • Brandy Evans Nolan: I have always opposed the electoral college, we are all living in one country and every vote should count. I also would like the GOP to wake up and realize that they cannot win an election by way of far right conservative views. Sure I did vote for Romney, but I did not agree with all his views. I don't agree with women's rights taking a step back or for people in gay relationships to not make any headway in their efforts HOWEVER I believed for the greater good of our country we had to put individual interests on hold to rebuild our economy which is probably our nation's largest issue at hand that will affect all races, straights/gays, women AND men. I hope that the GOP wakes up and realizes they need to find some middle ground on many of these interests and that may speak to the young voters & minorities to capture their future vote. This election was a very big disappointment and I can only "hope" our country does not lose more than we already have.
Stephen OConnor November 12, 2012 at 09:32 PM
You have another error in your article: "The 2008 election also went down in McHenry County history as the first time the majority of voters choose a democratic president. In total, 51.8 percent of voters picked Obama over the 46.4 percent that voted for incumbent Republican candidate President George W. Bush." Bush did not run against Obama in 2008 - should be McCain instead or am I reading this wrong?
Jennie November 13, 2012 at 12:47 AM
I was turned away and could not vote, because I had moved recently and my registered address did not match . The woman at Woodstock court house shared with me that she turned away 7 people that day. Seven people who were not given a voice or rather taken away.
Jerry December 19, 2012 at 09:20 PM
The people voted for higher taxes and government controlled healthcare...so now, enjoy!
Jerry December 19, 2012 at 09:23 PM
If your candidate lost, I am sorry that happened. If your candidate won, there should be no problem. As an election judge we have neither the time or resources to do a paper trail of everyone's last address. It is the voter's responsibility to re-register at their new address.
Jerry December 19, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Wait till January 1st and you'll see what is REALLY contained in the new healthcare bill. Remember Nancy Pelosi saying "you'll have to vote for it before you can see what's in it"? SURPRISE! Now you are going to get a $65.00 increase so 12 million illegals can get better healthcare than your mom....and that's just the tip of the Iceberg.

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