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Voter turnout just 41 percent

4th ward aldermatic candidate Will Burns his daughter AthenBurns 3 prepare vote AlphTower building 936 east 47th Street. Tuesday February

4th ward aldermatic candidate Will Burns and his daughter Athena Burns 3, prepare to vote at the Alpha Tower building 936 east 47th Street. Tuesday, February 22, 2011 | Brian Jackson~Chicago Sun-Times

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Slightly more than 41 percent of the city’s 1.4 million registered voters cast ballots Tuesday, city election officials said.

That represents nearly 575,000 votes cast, officials said after 97 percent of precincts were counted.

Board of Election Commissioners Chairman Langdon Neal called the turnout disappointing and said it was lower than what officials predicted, based on strong early voting and absentee ballot numbers.

Neal said voters might have been tired of all the campaigning after a statewide election — including battles for the governor’s office and a U.S. Senate seat — ended in November.

“Almost immediately the municipal election began, and I think our voters got a little voter fatigue. Advertising, political commercials, robo-calls, litigation, fights over ballot access. ... I think it all kind of gets too much at times, and I think our voters needed a break from it.’’

Neal said there were few problems at the polls. One 17th Ward election judge was reported to be intoxicated, but she left on her own accord before the board could remove her.

“We’ve had a few issues of electioneering but a relatively small number of cases,” Neal said.

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