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So How Was Voter Turnout?

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Nov 5, 2008 3:55PM

With reports of long lines all around the area, it seemed we were heading for a record turnout. Did that pan out? Not quite, according to Cook County Clerk David Orr, who estimated Cook County turnout would be just below 80 percent. "We're still going to have a big turnout but I don't think we're going to make 80 percent." However, in spite of this, the total number of voters in Illinois casting ballots did hit a record high with an estimate of 5.7 million. Still, why the overestimation of turnout? Spokesman for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioner James Allen pointed to the early rush, saying, "I call it the Rally Effect...Either they wanted to avoid the tangle of traffic or they wanted to go...After that big morning rush, we expected a supersized turnout. But after after 3 o'clock, instead of getting busier and busier the polls got deader and deader." What about national turnout? According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 126 million people voted in the 2004 Kerry-Bush Presidential election. As of 9:50 a.m. this morning, MSNBC had 118,694,407 voters casting ballots for the two major party candidates (with 97 percent reporting). That doesn't include votes cast for third party or independent candidates.