Voter Turnout in Elmhurst Very Low
People "just aren't that interested," election judge said.
Election judges outnumbered voters at Elmhurst precincts today, as the predicted low voter turnout became a reality.
Of the 1,500 voters assigned to the Redeemer Lutheran Church polling place, only 209 residents cast their ballots in nine hours. With four hours left to go, judges still were expecting a little rush of voters after 5 p.m., as people got off of work.
Bernadette Taviani said the low turnout was not due to early voting, because she knew that probably only 20 people in the five precincts assigned to Redeemer Lutheran voted early.
“This is one of our lowest turnouts,” said Taviani, who has served as an election judge in previous years.
The weather is good, so that was not a factor, she said.
“I honestly think, with the amount of senior citizens in town, they’re just not interested in it,” she said. “If there was a referendum or something like that, they’d definitely be out here.”
She said the voters who did turn out are passionate about the issues, especially taxes.
“A lot of them are very, very upset about the tax situation” in Elmhurst, she said. “The majority are making comments about how they’re upset with raises being given and money being spent when everything just should be cut back.”
For residents, voting in this election is “kind of an all-or-nothing thing,” she said.
A poll watcher who had visited Redeemer earlier today said that in 2007, about 549 voters turned out from those precincts.
“If by the end of the day we equal that, it’s par for the course,” said election judge Steve Ford. “If it’s below that, then it’s definitely an off year.”
He said he would like to see what the last three or four April election turnouts were like and if there were referenda on the ballots.
“If this were a presidential election year, we’d have people standing in a line out the door,” he said.
Redeemer sits within Elmhurst’s 4th Ward, which is the most contested ward in this election. Incumbent Steve Hipskind is up against two newcomers, Darlene Heslop and Mark Anglewicz.
Taviani and Ford said they had not heard any comments from voters about that race.