Large letters spelling out “VOTE TUESDAY” stretched across the front lawn of a home at the intersection of Delaplaine and Longcommon roads in Riverside last week. A banner in front of another Riverside home welcomed home a soldier.
While the letters and the sign were different, they were related to each other — with one reminding of what went on and is still going on to give us the right to vote and the other is a reminder to exercise that right. Did you?
The signs are gone from the two houses and campaign signs have been removed. Candidates new or incumbent will take or resume their positions at their elected posts. Whether your choices will be seated or not is not relevant. We must now work together for the common good, because we are all in this together, like it or not.
As election judges — and yes we do get paid — we take our jobs seriously. We go for training sessions and take tests, set up the polling places prior to the election and have to be on the job at 5 a.m. the day of election. Most of us arrive with coffee in hand and continue to wake up and be civilized to the voters as they begin to arrive. Unusual for us this past election was that when the polls opened there were no voters. Normally they have to wait for us; this time we had to vote for them. Luckily we all had brought books to read.
Here are some of the facts. Precinct 8 located at Blythe Park School in Riverside has 1083 registered voters of that number 186 voted in person with another 10 voting early voting/absentee, that is under 200 people who voted in precinct 8 that day — 18 percent.
But that was, believe it or not, about par for Riverside as a whole. According to the Cook County Clerk’s website, just 22 percent of registered voters came to the polls on April 9 in Riverside.
Many of those who did come in were what I refer to as “regular” voters — those who come to vote at all elections, no matter the weather or the ballot. It is good to see them and catch up on what they have been doing since the last election.
We election judges were disappointed you didn’t show up, because, yes, your vote does count. And if you didn’t vote, don’t complain.