Primary Election 2012 Turnout Low in Pine-Richland
No problems reported with trial run of asking voters for photo IDs.
Voters turned out slowly for Tuesday's primary election in polling places around Pine and Richland townships, and few had problems with presenting a photo ID to poll workers.
But many had trouble parking at Pine-Richland Stadium where Pine Districts 1, 2 and 3 vote.
"There were no parking places at all," said District 1 majority inspector Pat Pegher, adding that people double-parked in the stadium lot that is used for Pine-Richland High School.
"Everyone is complaining about parking," said Connie Fill, minority inspector for Pine District 2.
The poll workers were surprised that the high school students did not show up to vote when their school day ended.
"We thought we would get a lot more of the teenagers after school, but we didn't," said District 1 election judge Sarah Strickland.
Majority clerk Sharon Scheidemantle said things were so slow that poll workers were starting to plan how they'll control the traffic flow of lines for the November election.
Asking for Photo IDs
For the first time, poll workers asked voters for a photo ID as a trial run for November's election when producting a picture identification will be mandatory.
At North Way Christian Community, where Pine Districts 4 and 5 vote, a woman chatted with poll workers about her concerns.
"I'm glad they're going to make people do that," she said about providing a photo ID. "I think dead people are voting all the time."
She said it took three or four years to get her son's name taken off the voting rolls after he died a decade ago.
Although she did not think there were problems at the North Way polling place, she said years of living in Chicago made her skeptical about how voting is handled.
Dan Dishart, minority clerk at North Way, said they had no problems with asking people for IDs.
"For most people, it's a no-brainer," he said. "It's really not much of an issue up here."
Judge of elections Joyce Douglas said they received only a few comments about the need for an ID at North Way.
At Salem United Methodist Church—where Pine District 7 votes—just one or two people had not heard about needing a photo ID, said election judge Nancy Lebo.
Election judge Margaret McCauley said only one lady grumbled when voting at North Park Rink (Pine Districts 6 and 8).
"Everybody else thought it was a good idea," she said.
"A lot of people are saying, 'it's about time,'" said Elaine Rauso, majority clerk for Pine District 3.
Jane Silvester, election judge for Richland District 1 at St. Barnabas, said "We're just trying to get the people acclimated to doing it."
"Most people seem ready; they come with their IDs," said election judge Brigid Christenson at Pine-Richland Youth Center, where Richland Districts 5 and 6 vote.
She was concerned, however, about a name on a photo ID not matching up with a voter roll because someone had recently married.
Nonetheless, voting was going smoothly throughout the day at the youth center.
"It's going fine. We always run smoothly," said Christenson. "Plus, it's so slow."