People pleased as polls close
BY ERIKA WURST firstname.lastname@example.org November 6, 2012 8:56AM
Election judges Pat Brummel and Ron Molchanov (right) get a ballot for Julie Shuler (left) of Yorkville at Kendall Precinct 3 polling place at the Kendall Township Building on Legion Road in Yorkville on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. | Steven Buyansky~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 6, 2012 7:01PM
Fox Valley voters reported nothing but smooth sailing Tuesday as they headed home from the polls. According to both the Kane and Kendall County clerks, few complaints were yielded throughout the day.
Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham said that all precincts opened on time, and that no major issues were had in terms of voter snafus. He said it probably helped that more than 54,000 early votes were cast by county voters, which kept Tuesday’s lines moving swiftly.
“There was nothing really significant (that happened) today,” Cunningham said. Around 6 p.m., more than 86,300 Kane County voters had already hit the polls, about 38 percent of the county’s 223,956 registered voters.
Oswego resident Tim Orr said was riding solo Tuesday morning in Kendall County at the Oswego Township building, where he was the only resident in line.
“I wasn’t expecting it to be packed, but I was a little surprised by how quickly it went,” he said. On Facebook, readers also shared their stories of Election Day ease. Voters were in and out within minutes, and besides precincts running out of “I voted” stickers, there were few complaints.
“I think we got one complaint about a long line early this morning, but if you turn on the news you see that in every district county,” said Kendall County Clerk Debbie Gillette. “Everything seems to be going well, but busy, very busy.”
According to Rennetta Mickelson, chief deputy clerk in Kendall County, there were just a few minor snags at several precincts early Tuesday morning, but no glaring complaints.
“We had a couple machines that were not seated properly in set up,” she said. “But that’s just a matter of having someone come out and reseat the machine.”
Pam Holsten and other election judges found this out bright and early Tuesday as they made final preparations just before 6 a.m. at the Bristol-Kendall Fire Station in Bristol, the Precinct 16 polling place.
During the morning rush, election judges ran into the minor glitch, and for 15 minutes voters stood with their ballots in hand, waiting to feed them into the machine. Judges in Little Rock had similar issues, Mickelson said.
“Only certain people have the authority to take the machine apart and make sure it was aligned,” Holsten said, but that person wasn’t around. Instead, voters had to manually insert the ballots into a lock box, until the problem was rectified.
“The room was filled,” Holsten said. “There was potential for lots of complaints, but everyone has been so polite and understanding.”
Since 6 a.m., lines at the Bristol precinct had been steady, but under control, Holsten said. By 7 a.m., nearly 50 people had turned in their ballots in Bristol.
In Aurora, all polling places opened on time, according to Linda Fechner, executive director of the Aurora Election Commission.
“This being a very critical election, as every election is, we have a lot of poll watchers,” she said. The main calls the commission has been fielding are from residents wondering where their precincts are.
“It’s been a quick morning, but no major issues, I’m happy to report,” Fechner said. Everything is moving quickly and smoothly.”
This news was pleasing to North Aurora resident Ben King, who rose early to vote.
“I was going to vote early on Saturday, but I ran out of time,” he said. The wait then was around 30 minutes, but on Tuesday morning, the line at the Messenger Public Library was much shorter.
King was in and out within minutes, like the dozens of other voters who hit the polls before heading to work.
“I don’t want to hear people complain (about politics) if they don’t do anything about it,” King said. “Voting is our civic duty. It’s what our country was built on.”
King said he wasn’t sure what to expect when he turned up this morning, and he was pleasantly surprised by speedy process.
Despite the calm situation, the day was sure to be a long one for election judge Leslie Lutz, who helped residents with the voting process at the North Aurora location.
“I think we had 50 or so voters in the first hour,” she said. “It’s been pretty busy, we’ve had a line the whole time. They say we’ll be busy all day, but we’re ready for it.”