Contested school board elections and a local referendum swelled voter turnout in local communities this cycle.
With voters deciding the high school board of education race, New Trier Township collected its highest turnout (20.19%) since 2015 (20.34%).
Voting totals are collected and posted by the Cook County Clerk’s Office and are unofficial until they are certified. The results include most mail-in and provisional ballots, early voting and Election Day votes; however, the website shows that 967 mail-in ballots collected countywide must still be counted.
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This year’s township result (20.19%) bested the previous three election cycles: 2021 (17.5%), 2019 (18%) and 2017 (19.7).
Though 2021 also featured a contested New Trier High School Board race, uncontested elections in Winnetka — just 9.85 turnout in 2021 — may have limited the area’s turnout.
But not this year.
This time around, Winnetka voters were also deciding a five-person race for four seats on the Winnetka Public Schools Board, helping the town to the highest voter turnout (24.71%) within the township.
Winnetka’s impressive turnout, however, still pales in comparison to its participation in 2019, when more than 30 percent of registered voters came to the polls with a schools referendum on the ballot. The measure failed by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.
Glencoe turnout was also well above recent averages, as 23.7%, or 1,667, of 7,026 registered voters, submitted ballots.
In 2021 (12.57%) and 2019 (5.23%), Glencoe turnout was significantly lower with no contested items in front of voters, but this year a Village referendum, which safely passed, presumably lured voters to the polls.
Facing multiple contested elections (Village Board, Park Board, New Trier School Board), Wilmette voters recorded a 20.43 percent turnout — a lower total than in 2021 (23.5%) and 2017 (25.9%) but much higher than 2019 (17%).
Northfield also surpassed 20 percent with 2,994 of 14,311 registered voters submitting ballots. In 2021, only 11.87 percent of Northfield registered voters participated in the election.
Kenilworth’s turnout was the lowest in New Trier Township at 15.77 percent, or 316 registered voters, behind 2021 (500 voters), but ahead of 2019 and 2017.
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