Early voting in the Chicago municipal election on Feb. 28 was the most popular in city history but day-of voting was described by officials as “sluggish.” In the end, the percentage of registered Chicago voters that turned out to vote was slightly less than recent elections.
Here’s an in-depth look at voter turnout data for the election, including turnout compared to past municipals, turnout levels across the city and what age groups showed up at the highest rates.
The voter turnout data is based on unofficial results from the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners. Final turnout data will not be available until March 15 after the board finalizes all votes that have come in through mail-in ballots. There were still an estimated 80,000 mail-in ballots that were sent to registered voters that haven’t been returned. Not all of them will be.
Though early voters smashed city records, overall turnout was low in Tuesday’s municipal election.
Only about 1/3 of registered voters in Chicago cast ballots for mayor, city clerk, city treasurer, City Council and police district councils.
The citywide turnout rate this year was lower than it’s been in the last three municipal elections in 2011, 2015 and 2019. In fact, turnout in 2023 was about 10% lower citywide than it was in 2011.
Voter turnout was generally higher on the North Side and in the lakefront wards.
However, turnout was highest in the 19th Ward, with a turnout rate of 55.5%. The ward with the lowest turnout was the 16th with 19.3%.
Hover over each ward to see the corresponding turnout rate.
Generally, voter turnout was lower among younger voters and higher among older voters.
Voters between the ages of 55 and 64 cast the most ballots in the municipal election, followed closely by those between 65 and 74. Each of those two groups accounted for approximately 20% of the total vote share.
Conversely, turnout was lowest in the youngest demographic of voters 18 to 24. That age group cast just under 16,000 ballots, accounting for only 3% of all votes.
Hover over each column to see the total number of ballots cast by each age group.
However, voter turnout by age looks slightly different when compared to the total number of registered voters in each demographic.
For example, the 25 to 34 age group has the most registered voters, with over 370,000 voters, but cast fewer than 70,500 ballots in the recent election.
Conversely, the 55 to 64 age group has almost 150,000 fewer registered voters than the millennial demographic, but saw the highest turnout, with close to 100,000 ballots cast Tuesday.
Though the 55 to 64 age group had the most votes Tuesday, the 65 to 74 demographic voted at a rate higher than any other group.
Those 65 to 74 showed up in droves, with more than 51% of registered voters casting ballots either by mail or at the polls. Notably, they were the sole age group with a turnout rate exceeding 50%.
Turnout was lowest among the youngest age group, with only 14% of registered voters aged 18 to 24 participating in the municipal election.