Election Notebook

News and notes from the polls on Election Day
2010-02-03T00:00:00Z Election Notebook nwitimes.com
February 03, 2010 12:00 am

Chicago voters hit polls with chips on their shoulders

CHICAGO | Many voters heading to polling places in Chicago said they weren't happy. And it wasn't because of the foul weather.

A steady snow didn't stop 62-year-old salesman John Rogers from voting downtown Tuesday. But the Democrat wasn't happy with the candidates. He said he doesn't trust anyone running and that it's a matter of voting for lesser evils.

Another Democratic voter, 58-year-old Rich Hammer, said he wasn't excited about either of the Democratic gubernatorial candidates Gov. Pat Quinn or Comptroller Dan Hynes.

But the unemployed Chicagoan said he cast his vote for Hynes because of Quinn's role as lieutenant governor when disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich was in power. He said Quinn's role was innocent, but the association still turned him off. -- The Associated Press

Voter turnout less than during previous years, official reports

SPRINGFIELD | Dismal skies and a few snowflakes greeted Illinois voters as they cast ballots for a contentious primary race for governor for both parties.

However, election officials held little stock in the weather factor in getting out the vote.

Board of Elections spokesman Mark Greben said the turnout was less than 30 percent of registered voters, and the average has been 37 percent and more in past years.

Chicago Election Board Chairman Langdon Neal said it started out as a very quiet day and was steady all day long. He said turnout likely wouldn't hit 30 percent for voters in the city.

He said all Chicago polls opened on time and closed on time. -- Illinois Statehouse News and The Associated Press

State officials monitoring polls report no problems at precincts

CHICAGO | Authorities monitoring polling places said there are no reports of problems.

The state attorney general's office said it had 166 teams visiting polling places across Illinois on Tuesday. That included 125 teams throughout Chicago and northern Illinois. There were 41 teams monitoring the rest of the state.

Spokesman Scott Mulford said investigators were looking for any improper or illegal activity. That included electioneering within 100 feet of a polling place.

Monitors also watched to ensure election workers didn't violate a voter's rights. Those included the right to go ahead and vote if someone's in line when the polls close. If voters made a mistake on a ballot and it hadn't been cast, they also had the right to get a replacement ballot.

Chicago Election Board Chairman Langdon Neal said there were only minor problems at polling places around the city, including three judges at three different precincts who were removed for drinking alcohol. -- The Associated Press

Prepared for any outcome, Quinn wears lucky tie to polls

CHICAGO | Gov. Pat Quinn sounded prepared for the possibility of victory or defeat in the Democratic gubernatorial primary.

After walking to vote near his home, he told reporters he appreciated his status could change when results of Tuesday's election came in.

He cited an old saying, "'One day a peacock, the next day a feather duster."'

He said he had to be ready for anything.

Quinn wore what he said was his lucky tie to cast his vote at Galewood Community Church on Chicago's northwest side.

He told reporters he planned to pick up his 92-year-old mother to take her to vote.

The governor faced heated opposition from Comptroller Dan Hynes. But Quinn predicted energy from his campaign volunteers' efforts to get out the vote would "carry the day." -- The Associated Press

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