04/11/2011 11:32 am ET Updated Jun 09, 2011

Chicago Runoffs Feature Limited Turnout

14 Chicago wards hosted an aldermanic runoff on Tuesday, April 5th, determining close to a third of the City Council's composition. On average, voter turnout in these races was down 32.8 percent from February levels, according to official statistics from the Board of Elections. This was a greater decrease than in 2007, when, among wards with runoffs, turnout in the average second round contest dropped by about 10 percent.

On Tuesday, Debra Silverstein ousted incumbent Bernard L. Stone in the 50th ward, which featured February's highest turnout (74 percent of those officially registered went to the polls). Silverstein received 61.6 percent of the vote, but with a 16.2 percent decrease in turnout, this translated to just 22.8 percent of the ward's registered voters. The average aldermanic runoff victor secured votes from 15 percent of their ward's officially registered residents. In ward 16, which had the city's lowest turnout in February (28.9 percent), Alderman JoAnn Thompson was sent back to City Hall after receiving 2,037 votes, 9.2 percent of officially registered voters.