Election organizers share concerns, confusion about voter turn out after redistricting

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 10:31 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Darin LaHood currently serves the 18th Congressional District, but as the result of the latest census, Illinois dropped from 18 to 17 districts. This means the Peoria lawmaker would be redrawn into a new district, the 16th, which includes much of the stateline.

“This is a new area for us,” says Lahood. “It’s really just getting to the different areas, meeting the folks, talking about it.”

Some of his new territories include Winnebago, Boone and Stephenson County. While LaHood says this was a challenge he was up for, and one he tackled after his landslide win in Tuesday’s primaries, Winnebago County Clerk Lori Gummow says redistricting drew challenges for voters in the region.

“A few people had been bumped to new polling locations,” said Gummow. “So there was a lot of new things we had to educate voters on.”

Gummow says educating them came with bringing some clarity to voters about a new wave of nominees.

“There was so many voters that said ‘hey, I’ve seen this candidates sign, or, I’ve seen their materials and I thought they were in our voted district.’”

Despite worries of lower voter turn out because of the changes, Gummow says she was incredibly pleased with amount of people who showed up to exercise their right. For LaHood, he says pleased is an understatement.

“It’s an absolute pleasure to have the trust of the voters in the new 16th congressional district,” said LaHood.

With no democratic candidates in the running for the US House Illinois District 16th general election, LaHood is face to face with independent candidate Bradley Horges Jr.

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