More than 60 percent voted in Lake, Porter counties
By Carrie Napoleon and Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondents November 7, 2012 11:58AM
Charity Rios, left, and Roberta Davidson vote at a fire station in Lake Station Tuesday Nov. 6, 2012. | Andy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 9, 2012 7:28PM
Sixty percent of Lake County’s voters cast ballots in Tuesday’s election, an almost 10 percent dip from the record-setting 2008 presidential election but more than three times the turnout for the primary.
And while Porter County voters turned out en masse for the 2012 general election, they couldn’t quite reach the voter totals gained in the presidential election four years ago.
Out of 339,869 registered voters in Lake County, 205,829 of them — or 60.56 percent — voted in Tuesday’s election, according to Patti Bacan, a board of elections department employee. Total votes cast during early balloting were 26,281 and another 9,122 absentee ballots were returned.
“I know it was a good turnout because of the lines,” Bacan said
Voter turnout in the primary was 18.59 percent with 61,275 ballots cast.
More than 1,000 people cast their ballots in Lake County on Saturday morning. Voters on Monday waited up to two hours for their chance to vote.
“That’s how it was in ’08, but it was like that every day,” she said.
Even though there were 35,000 more registered voters in 2012 than in 2008 in Lake County, the number of total votes cast that year, 215,062, surpassed this year by a little under 10,000. There were 304,512 registered voters in 2008 with 70.63 percent of those voters, or 215,062, making it to the polls.
Average voter turnout among registered voters in Lake County ranges between 15 percent and 25 percent.
Porter County Voter Registration Office officials said they are pleased by the turnout. Unofficial results for the general election — the results will be certified Nov. 16 by the county’s election board — show a turnout of just under 64 percent, about 2 percent less than in the 2008 election.
“We only see these numbers on presidentials,” said Sundae Schoon, Republican director for the county’s Voter Registration Office, adding she was surprised this year’s voter totals didn’t overtake those from four years ago.
Absentee voting was strong, with 14,960 ballots cast, but still fell shy of the 17,000 early ballots from the last presidential election.
Democrat director Kathy Kozuzsek said she doesn’t go by the percentage of voters based on the number of registered voters, because the figure doesn’t include inactive voters, who are still registered but haven’t voted recently. The county also had more registered voters this time around.
“It was still good to me,” she said. “I thought it was bigger than last time.”