Local voter interest heating up
Rachel Joseph of Evanston leaves after voting with daughter Zora Correa, 15 months, during early voting Monday at the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center in Evanston. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 2, 2012 7:09AM
EVANSTON — Evanston City Clerk Rodney Greene carried a towel draped over one shoulder, mopping away the exertion as he shuttled around the second floor hallway of the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center on Monday, directing the traffic for early voting.
“We put in at least 500 a day,’’ he said about the crush of voters taking advantage of the option.
“We had the biggest Saturday, I think it was 746, so we have 4,500 people who voted, as of (Monday) morning,” he said.
The turnout is dispelling the notion, at least locally, that a substantial number of voters may sit this election out.
That’s not the Evanston way, declared Leslie Yamshon, one of the early voters patiently waiting for her number to be called Monday so she could cast her ballot.
“I think Evanston is a proactive community,’’ Yamshon said. “I think we support the people who run for office here. I think they care about us and we know it.”
Residents will go to the polls Tuesday to vote on a wide array of races, ranging from president on down.
Because of the district’s overwhelming Democratic makeup, many of the party-backed candidates go into their races strong favorites.
In the U.S. Congress, 9th District race, Democrat Jan Schakowsky is running against Republican Timothy C. Wolfe.
In the state Senate, 9th District, Daniel Biss faces Glenview resident Glen Farkas in a bid to succeed longtime incumbent and Evanston Democrat Jeff Schoenberg.
Biss moved up from his state House seat to run for the Senate in the short window of time candidates had to declare after Schoenberg’s announcement he wouldn’t be running.
In the state representative races, Democrat Laura Fine faces off against Republican Kyle Frank in the 17th District; and Democrat Robyn Gabel seeks another two-year term versus Republican Eric Joseph Lieberman in the 18th District.
Meanwhile, Democrat Debra Shore, a top vote getter in past elections, is expected to be a strong choice to emerge as one of the top three vote getters necessary to land another six-year term on the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District board.
Some of the Democrat candidates on judicial ballot sealed their election with victories in the primary. They include Larry G. Axelrood, an Evanston Township High School graduate, running for 9th Subcircuit; and Lionel Jean-Baptiste, a former Evanston alderman, also running in the 9th Subcircuit choice.
Schoenberg also has seen little dropoff in the local party fervor.
“We’ve been pretty much full house at our offices with volunteers making phone calls for a number of months,” he said. “We all understood that this election would be close and we once against shouldered a significant load for the national voter contact effort.”
Residents can locate their polling place by going on the city’s website, www.cityofevanston.org and clicking on the City Clerk’s tab.
Early voting, meanwhile, runs through Nov. 3. The hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Under state law, early voters should bring some kind of valid photo identification, such as a current driver’s license, state-issued ID card, university/college ID or another government-issued ID with a photograph.