Illinois Election Data Now Available From Statewide on Down to the Precinct Level

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Written by John Biver

Are you curious about how the vote turned out in your area? What did voters decide in your precinct? Did they vote to continue “hope and change,” or did they instead cast their ballot to “make America great again”? This information is especially important for elected Precinct Committeemen who worked their precincts.

Precinct-level election results and more can be found with a few points and clicks at the website “Illinois Election Data,” “a data driven website … created to share and display useful campaign data on Illinois elections.” The website is the work of Scott Kennedy — here is an excerpt from Mr. Kennedy’s “About” page:

I previously worked on a number of Illinois statewide races for Democratic candidates, two governor races and two senate races. In that time I have amassed a very large number of files on Illinois election data. Having been through this exercise so many times I know how difficult and time consuming it can be to have to build the same data files over and over and I have a lot of sympathy for those who have to do so. I created this site to try to provide a lot of the basic data in an easy to see, understand and use format to help the overworked campaign staffers who work too many hours.

As a former campaign manager, I can attest to the fact that it can indeed be “difficult and time consuming.” (That’s why I always assigned that work to a staffer to do that work.) One of the many wonderful things about the World Wide Web is that people like Mr. Kennedy make valuable and important information easy to find — that is, of course, by doing all the work for us.

It will take some navigating to get familiar with how IllinoisElectionData.com has organized the numbers. I’d steer clear, for example, from this page if you’re looking to learn about the vote totals in your precinct. The files are massive — my computer balked when I tried to open one up. Instead, visit this page. Most web users will be able to easily figure out the drop-down menus.

The website includes more than just vote totals. Here are the pages available and their explanation:

Elections
I wanted to create an easily navigated quick glance section by race for this data to make the data easier to find and use. Click on each of the pages below to find a quick glance page for each of the constitutional offices in Illinois with direct links to map and budget data.

Vote Total Maps
I have taken the election results for various elections and created vote total maps using Google Maps to overlay the election results.

Vote Analysis – Election Data
Here you can find a number of spreadsheets that will show results data for Illinois statewide general elections by region, media market, county, Chicago ward, or Cook county township. The data includes Democratic candidate performance, Republican candidate performance, vote share and turnout.

Campaign Budget Information
Even if you consider yourself a political junkie you may not find this part of the site particularly useful. It is really most helpful for campaign staffers who have to manage their campaign budget, usually just a campaign manager and/or an operations director.

Redistricting
Here is everything you need to know about the new Congressional, State Senate and State Rep districts as well as the new Chicago ward boundaries created by the redistricting process following the 2010 census. These new district boundaries will be in effect starting for the 2012 elections.

The website also has a FAQ page for Frequently Asked Questions.

If you scroll down on the home page, Mr. Kennedy provides details on the offices that changed from R to D or D to R, as well as information about campaign spending and engages in a little pre-election prognostication. Here’s a little fact that many will find interesting:

Last night the Governor’s Independent Expenditure committee, Turnaround Illinois, filed a B-1 disclosing independent expenditures totaling $101,843.15 for radio ads supporting House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, who is unopposed this fall.

With record amounts of money being spent every cycle, it might be argued that throwing a hundred-grand into an uncontested race is no big deal. Another argument might suggest that use of money says a lot about the ability of the Republican campaign strategists in this “blue” state.

On that topic, this is from the site’s homepage:

In 2014 the Republican statewide candidates ran strong across the state, Rauner won 70 House districts, Topinka 69 and Cross 64. This cycle at the top of the ticket the Democrats came storming back with Clinton winning 77 of them while Duckworth won 74. As discussed in the post-mortem in some parts of downstate Trump’s intensity of support was off the charts, it just wasn’t broad enough to be felt throughout the state.

It’s not all bad news, though, as Republicans picked up 4 state house seats and 2 state senate seats – which is not an easy task in a presidential year. For that, Republican campaign strategists deserve credit.

Speaking of credit, Scott Kennedy should be thanked by everyone who was saved a lot of time by the use of his website. Illinois Election Data is a terrific source for information that certainly lives up to its billing as “a data driven website … created to share and display useful campaign data on Illinois elections.”


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