Wilmette, News

A record 36,700 New Trier residents voted in General Election — 80% of registered voters

Following the national trend, New Trier Township rocked the vote in this fall’s General Election.

Of the 45,459 registered voters in the township, 36,753 cast their ballots, according to the official results from the Cook County Clerk’s office.

Those marks are both record highs according to county data, which was certified by County Clerk Karen Yarborough on Wednesday, Dec. 2, when her office also announced that suburban Cook also set records this election, including with 913,358 ballots cast before Election Day — 460,281 mailed in ballots and 453,077 voted early.

The early voting accounted for 76 percent of all suburban Cook County ballots.

Overall, suburban turnout was on par with previous Presidential Elections, at 71.2 percent, but about 150,000 more residents were registered and 100,000 more votes were cast.

In New Trier Township, the record totals led to an 80.85 percent registered-voter turnout rate, the highest since 2008 (82.42%), when Barack Obama was elected to his first term as U.S. president.

Township turnout rates have historically been above average, however. In 2016 (79.91%) and 2012 (79.49%), the number also nearly touched 80 percent.

Predictably, the presidential race was the most popular on Township ballots this year , attracting more than 36,000 local votes, with 72.66 percent of locals selecting the Joseph R. Biden-Kamala Harris ticket.

A longstanding Democratic stronghold, New Trier is divided into 43 precincts and all of them favored Biden-Harris over sitting President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence at the polls.

Within the township, Glencoe was the bluest, with 77.63 percent of votes going to Biden, followed by Wilmette (73.81%), Winnetka (64.93%) and Kenilworth (62.29%), based on precinct data from the county. (Editor’s note: Some New Trier precincts cross town borders.)

Outside the area, New Trier’s bordering townships also voted Biden — Northfield at 65.1 percent, Niles at 66.29 percent and Evanston at 90.91 percent. Suburban Cook County as a whole voted 66.39 percent pro-Biden.

Not far behind the presidential race in local voting volume was the Illinois Fair Tax referendum, a proposed measure to amend the state’s constitution to allow for a graduated income tax in the hopes of taxing wealth to narrow the state’s growing debt.

The item failed, with 53.26 percent of Illinoisans voting no. A larger share — 61.35 percent of more than 35,000 voters — said no in New Trier Township. The rest of suburban Cook County, though, voted in favor of the proposal.

New Trier didn’t agree with every eventual outcome.

The township preferred Cook County State’s Attorney challenger Patrick O’Brien (56.33%) to incumbent Kim Foxx, but Foxx earned 53.99 percent of the total vote thanks to strong support in Chicago.

There was only one local measure on the ballot, an advisory question served to Wilmette voters.

As previously reported, residents signaled they were OK with legal cannabis sales within village limits. Final numbers show 17,084 of Wilmette’s 22,993 registered voters (77%) answered the ballot question, with 9,641, or 56.43 percent, in favor, giving the Village of Wilmette the significant feedback it desired.

joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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