Evanston municipal elections draw one-fourth of eligible voters


Daily file photo by Colin Boyle

City Clerk Devon Reid said the city’s goal is to improve voter turnout for future municipal elections.

Ilana Arougheti, Copy Chief

Approximately 13,000 Evanston residents cast ballots in last Tuesday’s municipal elections, a drop in voter turnout since the 2017 election, City Clerk Devon Reid said at City Council Monday night.

This year, around 25 percent of the city’s registered voters cast a ballot — a 5 percent increase from the voter turnout in the February primaries. In 2017, around 18,400 ballots were cast, which made up nearly 37 percent of registered voters. 

The 6th Ward saw the highest turnout rate in all of Evanston, where 35 percent of registered voters cast a ballot. Ald. Tom Suffredin (6th) won 62 percent of the vote in the 6th Ward aldermanic race, defeating challenger Katie Trippi. 

Reid said the city hopes to increase voter turnout in the future, especially in the 5th Ward, which had the lowest voter participation rate this election. “We have something to strive toward in the next municipal election,” he said.

So far, three City Council newcomers have won aldermanic races and will sit on the dais for the first time this May. In the 4th Ward, Jonathan Nieuwsma will succeed Ald. Don Wilson (4th), who was ousted in the February primaries. 

Bobby Burns defeated Carolyn Murray in the race for the 5th Ward seat, currently filled by Ald. Robin Rue Simmons (5th). Last weekend, Matthew Mitchell conceded to Reid in the 8th Ward.

As of Thursday, challenger Clare Kelly leads Ald. Judy Fiske (1st) by 27 votes, a margin that has tightened since last week. Ald. Peter Braithwaite (2nd) currently has a 72-vote lead on Darlene Cannon — a race that has also gotten closer since initial numbers were announced.

Incumbent Alds. Melissa Wynne (3rd), Suffredin, Eleanor Revelle (7th) and Cicely Fleming (9th) appear to have all won reelection to their seats. 

About 6,800 Evanston residents voted in the 2013 municipal elections, in which the entire council was reelected and about 10,400 residents voted in 2009.

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Twitter: @ilana_arougheti

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