Early turnout for 4th Ward Special Election light

As he prepares to vote in the Fourth Ward special election for Alderman, Eliza Bryant speaks with election judges as poll watchers look on in the Beulah Shoesmith School gymnasium polling station, 1330 E. 50th St., Tuesday, Feb. 28. – Marc Monaghan

Staff Writer

Marcellus Moore Jr., one of the five candidates running in the 4th Ward aldermanic special election, stood outside Beulah Shoesmith School, 1330 E. 50th St., Tuesday morning, Feb. 28, and expressed cautious optimism at the turnout.

“ It’s been light but steady so far,” Moore said, adding that predicted storms might depress a later turnout of voters. “ I’m a little disappointed.”

Moore said the pattern was consistent with other places in the 4th Ward he had visited.

Polling places in all six locations in the 4th Ward were fully manned but no more than a trickle of early voters were there by 11 a.m. The total number of votes at the Neighborhood Club, 5480 S Kenwood Ave., was 24 at 9:20 a.m., almost three and a half hours after the polls opened. At the polling place at 4850 S. Lake Park Ave., things weren’t much busier.

A poll worker who didn’t wish to be named also described the number of voters as “light.” The poll worker said about 20 voters had cast ballots and a total of 11 had been counted at Washington Square Apartments, 4949 S. Cottage Grove Ave.

Fourth Ward Alderman candidate Marcellus Moore speaks with a 4th Ward special election voter outside of the Beulah Shoesmith School polling place, 1330 E. 50th St., Tuesday, Feb. 28. -Marc Monaghan

All around the ward both election workers and poll workers echoed Moore’s assessment. Many of them also predicted a heavier flow in the afternoon.

Irene Hawkins, an election volunteer at the Alpha Tower Apartments polling place, 936 E. 47th St., said that early voting had not been heavy but that it would probably pick up by mid-afternoon.

Mark Lipinski, a poll worker for Ebony Lucas, who was standing outside of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club, said turnout may be light because it’s a ward election.

“It’ll pick up when people come home from work,” Lipinski said. “It’s just a question of who’s interested in this election. It’s not like a presidential election, it’s a special election people who are interested will come out.”

William Jackson prepares to cast his ballot during the Fourth Ward special election for Alderman in the polling station at Beulah Shoesmith School, 1330 E. 50th St., Tuesday, Feb. 28. – Marc Monaghan

Bill, a poll worker for Ald. Sophia King (4th) who did not want to give his last name, also said there would probably be an afternoon rush at the polls.

“People have to go to work,” Bill said. “People have to take care of their kids.”