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NEWS | THE DAILY NORTHWESTERN

2009

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8, 2009 | 3

‘Disheartening’ NU turnout for Evanston elections By Nicole Hong, Amie Ninh and Chris Kirk the daily northwestern

Student turnout was abysmal for Tuesday’s citywide elections, despite get-out-the-vote efforts and candidate forums on Northwestern's campus. “This is one of the slowest, deadest and most boring-est elections I have ever seen in my life,” said Tamara Wilson, a Republican judge “People aren’t really informed to working the polls at vote … because Patten Gym, which was virtually deserted they don’t know for most of the day. who’s running for In the 13 hours the what.” polls were open, only about 10 voters cast Janice Jackson their ballot at Patten, Supply judge election workers said. The four election judges were left sitting alone in the empty entrance of the gym, doing their best to entertain themselves with books and other distractions as the hours ticked by and the voters stayed home. “I am pretty pooped,” said supply judge Janice Jackson. “It’s been a slow day.” The Parkes Hall polling location had similar numbers – about 25 people voted the entire day, workers said. The numbers come in stark contrast to the last city election. In 2005, students voted in droves and determined the winner in the race for First Ward alderman. They voted 217-15 in favor of Cheryl Wollin, who eventually won by 80 votes. Some election workers said they expected the low student turnout this year. “I kind of anticipated it, because it’s anticlimactic compared to the most historic presidential election in 30 or 40 years,” Jackson said. “People aren’t really informed to vote for anybody because brian rosenthal and Chris Kirk/the daily northwestern they don’t know who’s running for what.” What’s the cause of the overwhelming student Students campaign near the polls for Judy Fiske, who beat Ald. Cheryl Wollin (1st) on Tuesday apathy? Phil Hale, the equipment manager at Pat- night for first ward alderman. Fiske was declared the winner after a tense rematch of the ten’s precinct, guessed the problem applies to 2005 election that resulted in a lawsuit over alleged voter fraud for Wollin at Northwestern. many college campuses, not just NU. “I work at Loyola University, and I think our students would be just as apathetic, and it’s too bad,” Hale said. “This really is where people live. It’s the mayor, it’s the aldermen, it’s the commissioners that make the day-to-day decievanston wards “I was very first ward fourth ward sions that impact students far more than the president of the United excited. I was Elliot Dudnik Judy Fiske States does.” Election fatigue from Novempleased that ber’s presidential election may explain the lack of student voters, said Commuwe had a little nication senior Jayla Gray, who joined Howard Cheryl Wollin Judy Fiske’s campaign for First Ward alderman afbit of a H artenstein ter her parents moved to Evanston two years ago. “A lot of it is the presidential election was such different a big deal that some people wanted to go register from their home state,” Gray said. “Most students campaign.” can’t vote here.” Donald Wilson There were a few bright spots. According to election judges at the Seabury— Donald Western Theological Seminary location, 27 perWilson cent to 28 percent of registered voters in the precinct had already voted by 3:30 p.m. Evanston fifth ward resident William McIntosh said he voted for may“I'm just very “It’s a mixture of sixth ward oral candidate Elizabeth Tisdahl in part because Delores of her positions on NU. pleased that the work emotions... I Christopher Hart “We decided (Tisdahl) made more sense for Holmes Evanston because she maintains a more civil posiI’ve done in the past think it’s tion with respect to the university,” McIntosh said. Some NU students joined up with Evanston four years has been going to be a candidates. SESP junior Jeremiah Tillman served Mark Sloane as a poll watcher for mayoral candidate Barnaby Adrian Dortch appreciated by really, really Dinges. Tillman, who has been working on the Dinges campaign since August, said he was disapEvanston good council.” pointed his interest in the civic process wasn’t mirrored by those students who didn’t vote. residents." Mark Tendam “We are a selfish campus and a lot of people don’t want to admit that,” Tillman said. “Real civil — Delores rights and human service are about caring about Holmes — Mark tendam the community all around you and not just near you.” “I’m feeling really “I had lots of seventh ward ninth ward The head of NU Pic[K]s, an organization that tried to get students involved in the election, said great support excited and Jane Grover Coleen Burrus the turnout was “disheartening.” Lillian Cheng, a Weinberg sophomore, said she hopes an NU stu- in the seventh exhausted. We dent will run in the future. Hale said the day’s failure of a turnout should ward who were ran a positive serve as a lesson to students: If they don’t bother Kevin O’Connor to vote, they shouldn’t bother to complain either. campaign, and Michael Drennan helping me “You have no right to protest, you have no right to vent any kind of displeasure with any unit of every step of I think voters government if you choose not to vote,” Hale said. “It’s just that simple.” responded well.” the way.”

By the numbers

24

232 10

Residents elect new city council

7

6

1

5

2

4

9

3

63%

26%

37%

23%

51%

8

75%

23%

25%

36% 41%

nicolehong2012@u.northwestern.edu amieninh2012@u.northwestern.edu cperryk@gmail.com

— Jane Grover

59%

59%

9%

13%

John Zbesko

Mimi Peterson

32%

— Coleen Burrus

Total votes cast Tuesday in the sixth precinct of the First Ward (Parkes Hall) Total votes cast in 2005 in that precinct Approximate number of voters at Patten Gym

Source: Election judges

Two fresh faces to populate District 65 Board of Education Two newcomers will join two incumbents on the Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Board of Education, after an extremely close election Tuesday. Andrew Pigozzi and Jerome Summers reclaimed their positions on the board, and Tracy Quattrocki and Kim Weaver won the remaining available seats on the sevenmember board. Christopher Hawker, who did not earn a seat on the board, rounded out the field of candidates. With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Quattrocki clearly led the election, earning nearly 26 percent of the vote, while the rest of the candidates each hovered around 18 percent. Weaver was at 18.9 percent, Summers at 18.7 percent, Pigozzi at 18.7 percent and Hawker at 17.8 percent. The candidates said they expected the race to come down to the wire. “Knowing the support of some of the candidates and the organization of their campaigns led me to believe that the frontrunner would do very well and the rest of the candidates would be close,” Pigozzi said. Although the race was competitive, the newly elected board members said they are optimistic. “I wouldn’t mind serving with any of them,” Summers said. “We as a board need to improve all the time, so it’s good to have some different perspectives in there.” Outgoing Board President Mary Erickson said she has high hopes for the new board. “The process usually goes well and produces good people,” she said. “I have great respect for them because I know what they will be doing and how much they’re going to be doing.” Candidates for Evanston Township High School District 202 school board ran unopposed. Gretchen Livingston, Deborah Graham, Rachel Hayman and Martha Burns will serve for the next four years.

28%

Fo r m o r e el e c t i o n c o ve r a g e, ch e ck o u t w w w.d aily n o r t hw e s t e r n.c o m

— EMILY WRAY


Evanston election coverage