The Galesburg Board of Elections official moved to reduce the city’s number of voting precincts at their meeting last week.
The move takes Galesburg from 26 voting precincts to 21.
As 37 percent of Galesburg voters cast ballots early in November’s General Election, it shows a growing trend that Election Commission Director Lisa Watson says reduces the needed for Election Day polling places.
Illinois law allows local commissions to change the number of precincts in their municipality within 60 days after every presidential election.
Watson says the state ideal of a precinct is 600 voters, but not more than 800.
As Watson tells WGIL no Galesburg precinct even got close to 600, even though the number of votes cast dipped only somewhat.
“The precinct that had the greatest turnout was actually Grace Anglican Church, Precinct 26, and they had 414, so significantly below the state ideal,” Watson says.
The precinct reduction won’t go into effect until after the April consolidated elections.
The 2018 primaries would be the first election with the new precincts.
Commission Chairman Roger Williamson says that the five precincts that were eliminated will save $4,000 per election.
That would be a total savings of $24,000 before the statewide redistricting in 2021 following the 2020 census.