The "best ever" voter integrity initiative carried out through the St. Clair County Republican organization is being credited for the party's strong showing election day.
Top of the ticket Republican candidate Bruce Rauner did extraordinarily well in St. Clair County - exclusive of results from East St. Louis - beating Patrick Quinn by a margin of 56 to 39 percent.
Congressman-elect Mike Bost of Carbondale defeated Bill Enyart of Belleville 49 to 46 percent in St. Clair County, exclusive of East St. Louis results.
And perhaps the most extraordinary result was the showing of support for Circuit Judge Stephen McGlynn in his race against Associate Judge Heinz Rudolf, Democrat. McGlynn beat Rudolf by 10 percentage points in St. Clair County, 55-45 percent. However, the vote margin in East St. Louis went 94 to 6 percent in favor of Rudolf.
In total, McGlynn received 942 more votes than Rudolf.
Records are unclear, but some believe that a Republican has not been elected circuit judge in St. Clair County since the 1970s.
St. Clair County GOP chairman Tim Buchanan said "there was a lot of coverage" by Republican poll watchers who observed voting in heavily Democratic precincts.
He said the purpose of putting poll watchers at these precincts was to "make sure things run as they should." The most significant difference this election compared to previous ones were the numbers of poll watchers and the places they were employed, he said.
McGlynn said the voter integrity effort was "the best ever" carried out in the county.
"We kept it honest," he said.
Buchanan attributed the apparent success of the stepped up poll watching program along with voter dissatisfaction with Democratic leadership as reasons for good showings among many Republican candidates.