Economy, civic responsibility draw voters to polls
Norridge residents vote at Leigh Grammar School in Norridge on Tuesday. | Michael Jarecki ~ for Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 9, 2012 7:24PM
NORRIDGE — The sanctity of the secret ballot is alive and well in Norridge and Harwood Heights.
Voters interviewed as they left the polling places Tuesday were reticent about giving their opinions and adamant about not giving their names.
But they all held similar views.
Answering why one should go to the polls, many invoked the ideas that voting is a duty and a responsibility.
One noted voters also have the responsibility to make informed decisions by doing their own research on candidates.
Another explained that while voting is one’s civic duty, in Illinois, many times the results seem predetermined.
But voting still is important, because in the presidential election, one may win the electoral vote but not the popular vote. This can be an important distinction when judging the legitimacy of the winner to govern.
A third said whoever wins possibly will have the power to choose two justices to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
And there’s always the “you can’t complain if you don’t vote” adage.
The economy topped the list of issues elected officials need to address.
Examples of the struggles the middle class continues to face include people working harder without being compensated and people not finding jobs. Another complaint was that the jobs that are being created don’t pay much.
One voter said part of the problem could be that people place too much emphasis on a college education at the detriment to the trades. Training should begin in high school, especially since the public always will need people who have manufacturing and construction skills.
And while jobs may be going overseas, many of those are product-assembly jobs. What some people may not consider is that, as the economy becomes so much more advanced, many American jobs are tied to making the materials that go into the assembling of those products.
Still other voters brought up the curiosity factor, and how voting has changed over the years.
In the 1960s, voters used machines, standing behind a curtain and flicking a switch to vote for each candidate, pulling a handle to register their votes.
Now people use touch-screens.
In that era decades ago, taverns would be closed for the duration of voting, as many of those establishments also served as polling places.