Today could see a record turnout for a municipal election in Evanston.

A total of 5,395 people voted early at the Civic Center and 1,006 mail-in ballots have already been received and counted by the county clerk’s office.

That’s nearly as many people as voted in the 2013 muncipal election when there was no contest for mayor. Then a total of 6,804 votes were cast, just 1,050 of them in early voting.

The number of registered voters is also up substantially from 2013 to 49,914 today from 45,860 then.

What’s hard to determine, of course, is whether the increasing popularity of early voting means that there will be a substantial drop off in turnout  at the polls today.

The last time Evanstonians had a contested mayoral race, in 2009, a total of 10,387 ballots were cast.

Beyond the mayoral race between Steve Hagerty and Mark Tendam, there’s also a major District 65 school tax hike referendum on the ballot, along with contested races for city clerk, six of the city’s nine wards and seats on the District 65, Evanston Township High School and Oakton Community College school boards.

If the election outcome is close tonight, it’s possible the results could be swayed by mail-in ballots that have yet to be received.

Just under half the mail-in ballots requested have been received by the clerk’s office so far. They have to be postmarked by today to count, but it may be several more days before all of them arrive and are counted.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Candidates handing out flyers at polls

    Voted today.  Seems like Hagerty is paying a whole bunch of money on people and flyers in an effort to be mayor. It is shocking to see someone who is attempting to overwhelm voters this way. Not anything like the Evanston I know. 

    1. Evanston needs Hagerty’s experience more than ever

      Ah, just about every candidate and their supporters have been at the polls for more than a week.

      Tendam paid his army to go knocking on doors. Tendam is part of the connected political elites in Evanston.

      Hagerty is the true outsider and has worldy experience dealing with federal, stae and local governments and other institutions. His company helps institutions prepare for and recover from disasters. Considering the fiscal disaster this state, Chicago and D65 are in we need someone like Hagerty more than ever. Tendam will just go along to get along, meaning more spending and tax hikes.

    2. Hagerty Volunteer Weighs In

      Can’t speak to the poll work today. I can personally attest that I, and dozens of other Hagerty volunteers, donated time to canvass our neighborhoods on Saturday. Getting tired of the allegations that Hagerty only buys help and votes. Many of us are activist Evanstonians who believe Steve Hagerty is the better of two good candidates for mayor.

    3. Candidates handing out flyers

      Right you are, PJ. Hagerty’s campaign methodology and $$ excesses strike me as way too similar to that of Trump and Rauner. Hmmm. What other similarities might there be?

      1. Compare apples to orange… men

        Begin with dissimilarities. Trump would not be trying to “buy” Evanston. 

  2. Mayoral Race

    I have seen no difference in the marketing materials paid for by Tendam or Hagerty campaigns.  To compare Hagerty’s campaign to Trump’s is rediculous. 

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