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Peoria primary turnout on track to surpass previous years

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PEORIA (WEEK) -- With the number of candidates in Peoria's mayoral race, officials expect turnout to outperform what was seen in primaries in 2017 and 2019.

"It's a large number for the last few elections, but I think part of that is being driven by the fact we've had a long term mayor who's stepping down, so you've got an open seat and I think that's driven it up," said Thomas Bride, Executive Director of the Peoria County Election Commission.

Bride said the numbers prove it.

As of Monday morning, more than 4000 Peorians had voted early. 2600 voted in person, and 1500 voted by mail. Bride said those early numbers total more than half the turnout seen in 2017 and 2019.

So with the increased turnout, is the election commission prepared? A dilemma surrounding elections during the pandemic is having election judges. Bride said there are more than enough volunteers.

"For this election we do need fewer judges...because we only got about 60 percent of the polling places open, which is good because we still have a lot of the judges who weren't comfortable working in November who are still not wanting to work," he said.

And those volunteers, like Al McAllister, are ready.

"We take it personal, we take it as a serious responsibility to make sure everyone gets verified, gets counted, gets checked, gets through the system," said McAllister, an election judge.

Polls open Tuesday at 6am.

Andy Weber

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