No issues in Will County — except for economic worries
By Tina Akouris firstname.lastname@example.org November 6, 2012 6:34PM
Kendall Kobe, 10, and her sister Kelsey, 8, watch as their mother, Lisa, casts her votes in the presidential and general election at Troy Precinct 009 inside Judson Memorial Baptist Church in Joliet Tuesday, November 6, 2012. Lisa Kobe said she waited to cast her ballot until her daughters were dismissed from school so they could witness the voting process for their first time. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 8, 2012 6:37AM
Even though voter turnout was high and parking lots at some polling places were nearly full, Tuesday’s general election in Will County seemed to go off without a hitch, with voters more worried about the economy and who will be the next president of the United States.
Will County Clerk Nancy Schultz Voots said all the polls opened on time and there were no issues with any of the electronic voting equipment, nor were there any problems at any polling places.
Voots said the only problems she had were a few voters calling about poll watchers, who needed to be reminded that the law requires them to be at least 100 feet from a polling place.
In terms of turnout, Voots predicted about a 76 percent turnout, similar to the 2008 general election.
“Some places were getting (longer) lines, because of the time of day,” Voots said. “But it all depends on the time of day. In the morning it was heavy and during lunch it picks up again and then it does again around dinner time.”
One issue that may have caused a problem was redistricting. Voots said the county is redistricted every 10 years, but the clerk’s office mailed information guides to voters explaining changes.
Voice for unions
Sherry Miller of Joliet, a former Teamster, said the main issue for her was unions.
“I want to keep them,” Miller said. “I worked for UPS for 33 years, seven months and 21 days.”
Like most people, the major race for her was the presidential one, and she voted for President Barack Obama.
“When you have a choice of two people, and you know both of them are a little on the crooked side, you have to go with the one who is less crooked and possibly a little helpful.”
Cesar Hurtado of Channahon said he only planned on voting in one race — the presidential one.
“Last time I vote for Obama,” he said. “Now I want to do the same thing.”
Hurtado said his vote was swayed by Obama’s personality more than any big issues.
While Miller and Hurtado were in the Obama camp, some Will County voters went with Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Bruce Englehardt of New Lenox slogged through the afternoon rain with his wife, Virginia, to vote for Romney at Lincoln-Way West High School.
“Neither of them are perfect and neither of them are really that bad,” Englehardt said of the presidential candidates.
James Bartz of Joliet said the main issues for him were the economy and pensions. He voted for Romney.
“I think he’ll do a better job of getting the economy going again,” Bartz said.
Joy Kirchner of Channahon said the top federal issues for her were the economy and the military. The economy also helped her decide her votes on state races. Kirchner voted Republican across the board and she said she was in favor of the state amendment on pension reform.
The economy was also a sticking point for Aaron Foelske of Channahon.
“They should be trying to get their budget put together so they can pay some bills,” Foelske said of the state Legislature.
Foelske said he voted a straight Democratic ticket, except in the race for Will County executive. Foelske said he voted for Republican challenger Cory Singer over incumbent Democrat Larry Walsh because, “I just want a little change.”
Kasey Stelmaszek, a freshman at Lewis University, said one issue weighing on her mind as she headed to the poll was Romney’s plan to cut off financial aid for college students.
“I just feel like it’s going to be a big decision,” said Stelmaszek, who was voting for the first time. “It could go either way.”
Contributing: Cindy Cain,
Janet Lundquist, Bob Okon