BY BRIAN L. HUCHEL
DANVILLE — The presidential race is expected to combine with important races locally and translate into higher-than-usual voter turnout on Tuesday.
Voters in Illinois can cast their ballots at the polls beginning at 6 a.m. on Election Day. The polls will close at 7 p.m. In Indiana, polls will be open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST.
Historically, the presidential races that come every four years tend to increase the number of votes cast. Add to that two state legislative races and two local referendum questions and both city and county election officials expect nothing different this year.
“I think we’ll be higher — I feel certain compared to where we were four years ago,” said Vermilion County Clerk Lynn Foster. She expects just more than 65 percent of county voters to make it to the polls.
The same is expected for voters inside Danville city limits. Danville Election Commission Executive Director Barbara Dreher said the city notched 65 percent of its voters in the last presidential election year.
“We have certain voters that only vote in presidential elections,” she said. “And we’ll have those. There’s a lot of those people who vote like that for some reason.”
Figures from the county clerk’s office showed 1,168 ballots have been counted at that office as of early last week. The election commission workers reported 1,435 ballots as of early last week.
Despite the good turnout, Dreher said it could be better.
“It’s nice for this area, but paltry compared to other jurisdictions with 75-80 percent turnout,” she said.
Foster said the county hasn’t seen a record-breaking voter turnout since the 1988 or 1992 presidential elections.
Here are the contested races, as they appear on the ballot, in this year’s general election affecting Vermilion County at the local, state and federal level:
--15th Congressional District: Republican John Shimkus; Democrat Angela Michael
--52nd Illinois Senate District: Republican John Bambenek; Democrat Michael Frerichs
--104th Illinois House District: Republican Chad Hays; Democrat Michael Langendorf
--Vermilion County Recorder of Deeds: Republican Thomas O’Shaughnessy; Democrat Nikki Bogart
--County Board District 2: Republicans Kevin Green, Mike Marron and Charles D. Mockbee III; Democrat Terry Thomas
--County Board District 4: Republican Cathy Jenkins; Democrats Terry Stal, Ed Barney and Joe Tamalunis
--County Board District 5: Republican Bill Wright; Democrats Orick “Corky” Nightlinger, John Criswell and Andrew Terry Wilkus
--County Board District 6: Republicans Dennis Miller, John Alexander and Robert “Bob” Fox; Democrat Michael Puhr
--County Board District 7: Republicans Craig Golden and Neal Boyd; Democrats Michael Dodge, John Dreher and Larry Mills.