Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Election ’08: City voters make their picks

From Grosse Point Lighthouse to Howard Street, novice voters to voting veterans, the message from Evanston citizens was clear: this election is different.

“It’s Super Tuesday, and every vote counts,” said Evanston nurse Joyce Woods, who polled at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, 1655 Foster St.

Woods, 53, said she has been a regular voter for 35 years, but this one was special.

“This is a grassroots election,” she said. “We’re tired, we’re broke, we’re hungry, we’re sick of it.”

Jeneca Thomas voted for the first time Tuesday at the Evanston Police Department outpost, 633 Howard St. The 18-year-old echoed Woods’ sentiments, summing up her reason for voting in one loud, vehement syllable: “Bush!”

“George Bush is the worst president that I’ve ever seen in the time that I’ve been alive,” she said. “Obama is good, and we need a black president. We don’t need another Clinton.”

The Democratic presidential primary brought most voters to the polls on Tuesday. States across the country, 24 in total, cast ballots in Republican and Democratic primaries or caucuses.

The presidential primary was the first thing on voters’ minds Tuesday afternoon. According to poll workers at the bustling EPD outpost, many participants only voted for a presidential candidate, ignoring the referendums and other candidates on the ballot.

Marcellina Horne said she didn’t know enough about certain issues on the ballot, and that it was more important to get her preferred candidate into the White House.

“I’ll vote for (local issues) in November when I have more information,” she said.

Horne cast her vote for Sen. Barack Obama, D-IL. She was hardly alone. Obama was predicted to win Illinois, his home state; the New York Times called Illinois for him Tuesday night after only 1 percent of precincts had reported their results.

Poll workers at the EPD outpost said that many of the ballots they saw were marked for Obama only.

“There’s no other word,” said Woods. “Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama.”

Ed Schaefer voted at the EPD outpost for Obama, citing the candidate’s “freshness” as the major draw.

“Given the excitement of changing the regime … he doesn’t strike me as your typical politician,” he said.

Many voters said healthcare, the Iraq war and the economy impacted their votes. There was a smaller but loyal contingent of voters who came to the polls in support of local Evanston issues.

Diane Brown, who polled at Fleetwood-Jourdain, said some issues important to her included battered women, the homeless and veterans.

“Oh, and streetlights,” Brown said. “That’s my main concern.”

Evanston firefighter Ryan Roeder stood outside Parkes Hall, 1870 Sheridan Rd., Tuesday distributing flyers in support of a tax referendum that would raise real estate transfer taxes to help pay for the firefighter and police pension fund.

“We’ve been doing this kind of stuff for a couple weeks, at CTA stops, at public places. We’ve gotten a good response,” he said. “We’re just trying to get it done. We’re going to do anything that it takes.”

Not everyone who voted cast their ballot on Tuesday, however. According to a press release from the Cook County Clerk, about 60,000 voters voted early or absentee.

“We have record numbers registered for a presidential primary in the Cook County suburbs at over 1.35 million voters,” said David Orr, the Cook County Clerk in a press release.

EPD outpost voter LaTonya Masih said that if enough people make it out to the polls, change will be inevitable.

“If people pull other people (to vote) it will make a difference,” she said.

Reach Megan Crepeau at [email protected]

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Election ’08: City voters make their picks