Suburban courthouses host National Voter Registration Day efforts

2012-09-25T12:41:00Z 2012-09-25T18:26:34Z Suburban courthouses host National Voter Registration Day effortsGregory Tejeda Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
September 25, 2012 12:41 pm  • 

MARKHAM | Local civic groups and leaders worked Tuesday to register as many people as possible to vote in the Nov. 6 election as part of a nationwide effort.

Voter registration drives occurred at libraries, village halls, stores, and suburban courthouses in Cook County, where registrars tried to capture the attention of people as they were on their way to scheduled court appearances.

The Cook County clerk’s office worked with the League of Women Voters and the Pacesetters, a Hazel Crest-based civic organization, to staff booths at every suburban courthouse, including the Markham facility at 16501 Kedzie Ave.

In Chicago, the city Board of Election Commissioners organized a similar effort with booths set up at City Hall and at its office at 69 W. Washington St.

During the first couple of hours Tuesday, about a dozen people took advantage of the booth set up in the lobby of the Sixth District Cook County Circuit Courthouse in Markham to register to vote.

“That’s good, considering that people here are focusing their attention on going to court,” said Courtney Greve, a spokeswoman for Cook County Clerk David Orr.

Orr and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle were at the Markham courthouse for the event and said they were pleased with any effort encouraging people to participate on Election Day.

“If you stay at home, you let someone who probably has an opposing view to yours cast your vote,” Orr said, adding he hopes the booths set up at all the suburban courthouses in Cook County result in “hundreds” of newly registered voters.

Krista Grimm, of the League of Women Voters, said her group was pleased to cooperate with the National Voter Registration Day effort.

“This is one of our core activities,” Grimm said, adding that the group is interested in creating, “energized, informed and active participation in government.”

5th District Cook County Commissioner Deborah Sims, whose Far South Side district stretches into surrounding suburbs such as Riverdale and Harvey, called the registration effort a “bipartisan” effort.

“We’re making it easier to register so that people will have no excuse to not vote,” she said.

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