DuPage polls slow, but steady
Updated: June 8, 2012 11:05AM
Area polling places are reporting steady turnout by voters.
Though as of this afternoon voter turnout remains low, but the hope is it will pick up by evening.
John Kurth and Robert Simmons, both working as election judges at the Oak Brook Golf Club, said 208 of the 1,785 precinct’s registered voters had already voted by noon and the line would occasionally stretch into a nearby hallway.
“At least five or six different times, we had every voting booth filled up,” Kurth said. “There’s been some lulls, but then we’d get a whole bunch of people.
“We even had several people show up when we opened at 6 a.m.”
Simmons estimated that 90 percent of the people who showed up voted Republican, but believed that had to do with interest in the presidential primary.
At Oak Brook Village Hall, Mary Lebbin arrived to cast her vote shortly before 11 a.m.
“On a national scale, I’m really concerned about the size of the government, debt and the economy,” Lebbin said. “I’m interested in the (DuPage) County Board race. It’s why I’m out here to support my party.”
Inside election judge Garland Henrickson, an Oak Brook resident, said 105 of the estimated 1,600 registered voters in the precinct had already appeared. He said 90 percent of them voted Republican.
“If we get 10 percent turnout, we’d be OK,” Henrickson said. “We’re expecting to get 250 (voters), but I think we’ll get more.”
Gary and Virginia Hall arrived at Village Hall to vote together and regularly take part in voting.
“Unemployment, the economy and housing are very important,” Gary said, while Virginia said, “moral values and family,” were her key issues.
Both chose candidates they believed matched closely with their own beliefs.
At noon, officials at the Oak Brook Park District polling place reported 115 of their 1,100 registered voters had already cast ballots. Officials hoped to top 25 percent by the time the polls closed at 7 p.m.
Ron Maher, who was mostly focused on the presidential primary candidates, wasn’t shy about sharing his opinion after placing his vote at Village Hall.
“My key issue?” Maher said. “Change.”
In Hinsdale, election judge John Richter at Hinsdale Seventh-Day Adventist Church said the voter turnout has been “smaller than in some other years, but steady.” He said many people didn’t know this was a new polling place for them, instead of The Lane School.
Voter Steve Campbell said he “would have come out to vote either way,” but wanted to make sure because of the presidential primary.
At The Community House in Hinsdale, one election judge said turnout seemed a bit slow; “just south of 400.”
Another election judge said she has heard a few people make negative comments about some of the instructions on the ballot being printed in Spanish as well as English.
At Prospect School in Clarendon Hills, election judges said turnout has been good, about 550 voters, probably because of a home-rule referendum on the ballot.
Voter Bob Giammanco said the home-rule referendum is not what brought him out. He said he always comes out to vote because “it’s one of those civic things.”
Chuck Fieldman contributed to this story.