Voters motivated to come out to the polls
By DONNA VICKROY firstname.lastname@example.org November 6, 2012 2:32PM
Joliet resident John Joseph Honiotes (left) is handed a blank ballot as he arrives to full voting booths at Tezak Funeral Home Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Joliet. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 6, 2012 3:59PM
Kathie Saldana didn’t vote in the 2008 presidential election because she didn’t like either candidate.
“My vote means everything to me this time,” the 66-year-old Tinley Park woman said.
Four of Saldana’s eight grown children are out of work. Some are in danger of losing their homes.
“Everyone voted for Obama last time because they said we needed a change,” she said. “This time I voted for (Mitt) Romney because we need another change.”
Driven by duty, frustration, anger and a general sense of fed-upness, many hit the polls early today.
At Faith Christian Reform Church in Tinley Park, 20-year-old Matt O’Boyle voted in his first presidential election.
“I voted for Obama because Romney has been proven to be dishonest. You can’t have someone in the office who is not honest,” said O’Boyle, who recently enlisted with the U.S. military in hopes of becoming a Navy SEAL. “This election is hugely important. My whole future depends on it.”
Voting kicked off at 6 a.m. under sunny skies. Few complained about the frigid 40-degree temperatures, given the conditions voters on the east coast are dealing with.
“It’s rough for them,” said Phil West, of Tinley Park. “I appreciate that they’re trying to accommodate those voters as best they can.”
Courtney Greve, spokesperson for Cook County Clerk David Orr’s office, said voting was going according to plan. Polls operned on time and there were no reports of any equipment breakdowns, she said.
“No reports of any problems at this point,” she said, adding the office did not expect any precincts to stay open late.
Similarly, voting got off to a good start in Will County, said County Clerk Nancy Voots. Polling places opened on time, machines were operating properly.
Voots said she expects turnout to be heavy, but not as bad as in 2008, thanks to the high number of people who chose to vote early.
“Basically, the only calls we’re getting are from people wanting to know where their polls are,” she said.
Chet Labus, 58, said this presidential election is even more important than the last.
“The country’s changing. I want to make sure that it’s heading in the right direction for the next four years,” he said.
The Tinley Park accountant hopes his vote for Romney will ensure that.
“We kind of take voting for granted sometimes. But it’s important to vote in every election because you just never know, your vote may make the difference,” he said.
Jeff Taylor, vice president of sales for Consolidated Carqueville Printing Co., said he expects Romney will take the honors this year.
“Because of the state of the economy,” he said. “Unemployment is very high; we need more permanent jobs.”
He bemoaned the fact that so much money is spent on caucuses and political pacs. “Why not use those millions of dollars to put people back to work?” he said.
Though they disagreed on who would make the best president, voters polled were in absolute agreement about the tone of this year’s campaigning.
“This year was the worst,” said Denise Arkus, who works for a relocation company. “I think the candidates do it on purpose, to daze and confuse voters. In the end, you still don’t get any information.”
Arkus said she turned to the AARP website for informaiton about candidate’s platforms.
“It was pretty beneficial,” she said.
Cindy O’Boyle said she watched every debate because “they were more entertaining” than informative.
“This season was totally nastier than any other,” she said. “I’m glad it’s over.”