Election notebook

News, notes from the polls
2001-04-04T00:00:00Z Election notebook nwitimes.com
April 04, 2001 12:00 am

Da Mare

At St. Victor's in Calumet City late Tuesday afternoon, one Genova supporter shared with colleagues early projections from a Chicago television station that the mayor would win.

Meanwhile, Gale Winchester, like many Calumet City voters, said that the polls seemed "slower," or less crowded despite the furious push for attention of the five mayoral candidates, at least at St. Victor's.

By night's end, even the runner-up in the Calumet City race was joking about the results.

"Genova's headquarters," answered a campaign worker at Greg Skubisz' headquarters on Burnham Avenue.

Grumbles allowed

One election judge said she enjoyed the 14 or 16 hour day at the polls.

"I like the contact with people," said Frances Grumbles. "I'm a 'Grumbles,' but I'm not grumbling."

Too many chefs

Like many, one voter -- and landlord -- who would only identify himself as Warren expressed concern about the crowded field.

"I'm a little disappointed so many candidates are running for mayor. That dilutes the field and any chances for competition against an entrenched incumbent."

He declined to give his last name because he said he "didn't want to become a target."

Tired of politics

Harley Mears shivered outside of St. Victor's for hours and suggested that "people are tired of elections -- first in the township, now this."

He did, however, say he had no problem standing out in the cold, where he campaigned for his wife, Angela Mears, who ran for 1st Ward alderman.

Jimmy Bowens exited the precinct at the Ehinger Brothers VFW Post 8141in Calumet City and said the campaign had been "horrible, just horrible." He did say, though that Genova was "a good guy."

"All politicians are good guys," Bowens said. "Until they get caught."

Ballot miscue?

At Dirksen Middle School, 1st Ward Alderman Leni Wosczynski raised concerns about an Election Day snafu she said could distort the results of the school board race in Calumet City District 149.

She said that not all precincts in the ward listed the candidates in the race on the ballot. Election officials disagreed that the names should have been on the ballot in that precinct. Wosczynski said she would look into the matter.

Lansing polls

Though there was nothing to match Calumet City's mayoral race in Lansing, election judges at Village Hall complained that two of the county's new ballot counting machines had conked out during the course of the day.

"They told us the memory was faulty," said Election Judge Frances Miller. "We've never seen problems like we've had with these machines."

Election Day at the Lansing Public Library was as quiet as, well, a library. By late afternoon, a little more than 10 percent of registered voters had cast their ballots. The mayoral race in the village, won by Dan Podgorski, was uncontested.

The library was, however, a good place for election judges to catch up on their reading.

"Anything would be more exciting than what's going on here," said Election Judge Bonnie Murach.

Monkey business

Rumors abounded throughout Calumet City polling places about candidates interfering with the voting process and about arguments among supporters of the five candidates for mayor.

Police Chief George Vallis said Thursday afternoon that his department had received no information about specific candidates breaking the rules, but officers were called on several occasions to settle things down at the polls. Vallis said complaints ranged from election workers being too close to the polls to traffic problems. He said police were called at least twice to the polling place at Our Lady of Knock School to calm tempers.

"We were just trying to settle things down," Vallis said.

Vallis said some of the polling places were at schools, and police officers and workers for the Emergency Services and Disaster Agency were called to deal with traffic problems before and after classes.

He said the department received "typical" complaints. "I can't recall an election where we didn't have that sort of thing," he said.

RV wars

In the contest for biggest and best decorated campaign recreational vehicle, Greg Skubisz would have won by a few yards.

Skubisz and fellow mayoral candidates Jerry Genova and Al Mora all had supporters touring town in RVs decked out in campaign signs and slogans.

"Genova has one, but mine's bigger," said Rich Banske, who drove his RV for Al Mora. "But Skubisz went out and got one that's even bigger than mine."

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