Low voter turnout tells the tale in 4th Ward Special Election

Election judge Jack Cowen waits for voters in the Fourth Ward 27th Precinct polling station in the United Church of Hyde Park, 1448 E. 53rd St., Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 28. At 6:24 PM, a little more than half an hour before the polling station was to close, 124 voters had cast their ballots. According to election judges at the polling station, at approximately 4:00 PM, the Board of Elections had phoned the election judges and requested that they close six of the eight regular paper ballot polling booths and the only polling booth for handicapped people, leaving two regular paper ballot polling booths.

Marc Monaghan

Staff Writer

The story was the same at polling places late into the evening, Feb. 28, for the 4th Ward Alderman Special Election.

“It was slow but steady,” said Jacque Mills, election coordinator at the 4949 S. Cottage Grove Ave. polling place. “ It picked up a little later on but it was slow all day.”

Marcella Miller, standing in the quiet voting station at Beulah Shoesmith School, 1330 E. 50th St., said the same.

“There was no big push,” Miller said. “Not a real high turnout.”

About 340 voters turned out to vote at Shoesmith, with those from the 23rd and 24th precincts coming in relatively large numbers and those in the 22nd less so, Miller said.

Dave White, who was handing out literature for Marcellus Moore Jr., expressed disappointment as well.

Things were also moving slowly at Alpha Tower, 936 E. 47th St. A poll worker, who did not wish to be named said the voting as not heavy or steady.

At the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club, 5480 S Kenwood Ave.,

Rosalina Mota, who was at the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club, 5480 S Kenwood Ave., said, “There would be a trickle of voters, then it would stop, then another trickle.”

Marc Lipinski, a campaign worker for Ebony Lucas, said the low voter turnout is to be expected.

“It’s to be expected in a special election,” Lipinski said. “There are no other races.”

Half an hour before the polls closed, Diane Carter and Victor Caruth watched a handful of deserted voting booth at Harper Square Cooperative , 4850 S. Lake Park Ave.

“We did pretty good,” Carter said.

Caruth estimated the about 225 4th Ward residents cast their votes at the cooperative but declined to say if he thought that was evidence of a good turnout.

No one blamed rain, although candidate Marcellus Moore Jr. predicted earlier that it would help depress the vote total.

During poll closing time, at 7 p.m., only a few latecomers could be seen among the booths.