Early voting numbers on rise in Adams County; Quincy turnout expected to be 40 percent overall

Posted: Apr. 6, 2013 3:15 pm Updated: Apr. 20, 2013 11:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

More than 1,400 people in Adams County have taken advantage of voting in advance of Tuesday's municipal elections, easily surpassing the 990 people who cast early ballots four years ago.

Adams County Clerk Georgia Volm said early voting is becoming common practice. Early voting began March 25 and ended Saturday. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, and absentee ballots will be accepted at the clerk's office on Monday.

"It's a lot, but it just seems like early voting just takes off more and more with every election," she said. "Sometimes it's hard to judge if we are going to have a higher turnout because of that."

By comparison, 5,510 Adams County residents voted early in the November presidential election.

Volm is projecting a 40 percent turnout in Quincy Tuesday, fueled primarily by the mayoral race between Democratic incumbent John Spring and Republican challenger Kyle Moore. With 26,488 registered voters in the city, that means about 10,500 people are anticipated to cast ballots.

Countywide, Volm expects the turnout to be about 35 percent, slightly higher than in 2009.

"Out in the county we have a lot of uncontested offices, and they're always lower (turnout)," Volm said.

There is only one other contested citywide race. Incumbent Treasurer Peggy Crim is being challenged by Tom Ernst. Three of the seven aldermanic races are contested, including the seat Moore is vacating in the 3rd Ward.

Tuesday's ballot will also feature races for Quincy School Board, Quincy Park Board and the John Wood Community College Board of Trustees.

The Quincy mayoral campaign has been expensive. According to Illinois State Board of Elections reports, Spring has raised $86,385 since the start of third quarter of 2012, while Moore has raised $75,509.

Illinois campaign finance law requires candidates to report contributions of $1,000 or more throughout the year, but all other contributions are filed in quarterly reports. Candidates are not required to submit their first quarter report -- covering Jan. 1 through March 31 -- until April 15.

Any money collected since April 1 will not be reported until second quarter campaign finance reports are due in July.

Spring is attempting to win a third consecutive four-year term, while Moore -- a first-term alderman -- is trying to become the first Republican mayor since 1985.