One of the coolest stories we found from the polls today was at Lyons Township High School North Campus, a voting location for Lyons Township Precinct 15, where a couple of kids too young to cast their own votes were participating in a different way.
Lyons Township junior Serhiy Kondratyuk and Riverside-Brookfield junior Kellie Clinton were serving as election judges for Precinct 14, under laws that allow juniors and seniors to serve as judges if they are U.S. citizens with 3.0+ GPAs.
“I thought this would be a great way to get involved, because I love participating in government, and I thought that this would be a great experience,” Kondratyuk said. “It’s a lot of work, but again, it’s a lot of fun and you get to really appreciate the process by which the president is elected.”
The two were joined by 2012 LT grad Megan Feldt to make a trio of teens who spent their entire day—starting at 5 a.m.—participating in the election.
As of this afternoon, multiple precincts in the La Grange and Western Springs area were predicting that, combined with record early-voting totals, their turnout in the 2012 presidential election would exceed 80-85 percent, far above the typical national average of 50-60 percent.
For instance, with about an hour and a half left and a regular stream of people coming in, Lyons Township Precinct 44 (voting location: Forest Hills Elementary School in Western Springs) had a turnout of nearly 1150 of its 1382 registered voters, including early votes cast.
Meanwhile, in La Grange, Lyons Township Precinct 14 had 820 out of 1079 voters turn out by 6:20 p.m., with 40 minutes remaining and people still showing up (again, including early votes.)
Multiple election judges surveyed by Patch said they expected turnout to close at or above 85 percent in their precincts.
Turnout was slightly lower in the La Grange Park precincts that Patch visited, but still above the typical national average. For instance, Proviso Township Precinct 75 reported 505 votes out of 955 cast by 4:49 p.m., including early votes, on track for about 70 percent turnout.
Full information on turnout and voting patterns will be available on Wednesday.
Patch has been out for the last few hours at various polling places around the La Grange/Western Springs/La Grange Park area checking voter turnout at randomly selected polling locations. Here's what election judges told us:
Proviso Precinct 25: about 500 out of about 1000, plus unknown early voters, as of 4:49 p.m.
Proviso Precinct 75: 435 out of 955, plus 70 early voters, as of 4:49 p.m.
Proviso Precinct 23: 305 out of 567, plus one early voter, as of 5:03 p.m.
Lyons Precinct 39: 470 out of 848, plus 156 early voters, as of 5:20 p.m.
Lyons Precinct 44: 706 out of 1382, plus 429 early voters, as of 5:30 p.m.
Lyons Precinct 55: 534 out of 968, plus about 160 early voters, as of 5:40 p.m.
Lyons Precinct 54: 224 out of 490, plus 84 early voters, as of 5:55 p.m.
Lyons Precinct 15: 547 out of 1047, plus 178 early voters, as of 6:20 p.m.
Lyons Precinct 14: 604 out of 1079, plus 216 early voters, as of 6:20 p.m.
Some election judges declined to provide information, and we were not able to visit every polling station. More precise information will be available on Wednesday.
The rain can't keep voters in the La Grange and Western Springs areas down!
Election judges from precincts throughout the region have been telling Patch that turnout is through the roof this year.
One hitch: the 2011 Illinois redistricting seems to have thrown some voters off. Election judge Sheila Parisi at the Lyons Township High School South Campus Corral said that about 10 percent of voters who showed up at the Corral turned out to be from the wrong precinct—unlike in past years, the Corral is only a voting location for one precinct, not three.
Parisi added, however, that at 5:40 a.m., the Corral already had voters lining up out the doors.
A rare sight this year is anyone campaigning outside polling places. Patch found only one so far: La Grange resident Bert Sabella, who was outside Park Junior High School (where four precincts vote), supporting judge candidate and friend Ed Mahoney and said he's been visiting different polling places since before dawn.
"Politics are local. No matter who you're going to vote for for president, politics start at home like this," Sabella said. "You've got to support guys you know... I like doing this!"