Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Election Day Is Here (Again)

Hard to believe it's all come down to zeroes on the countdown timer.  This long campaign officially began on November 11, 2009, and we've been talking about it and watching the timer count down ever since.  What a long, strange trip it's been.
  • Twelve candidates filed nominating petitions
  • One incumbent announced her retirement
  • One candidate didn't show up for her hearings before the Elections Board and was disqualified
  • Two individuals declared their candidacies, only to opt out before nominating petitions were filed
  • One candidate filed the papers to become a write-in candidate
  • One candidate we only knew from his handwritten sign in the Pride Parade
  • Rumors: Countless! Innumerable! Legion!
And here we end up, at long last.  A winner will be announced tonight... probably.  We've learned not to take anything for granted.  Ties, challenges, lawsuits... we wouldn't be at all surprised.

So our advice to you:
  • Get out and VOTE.  Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent to get you to do exactly that.  Do it.
  • Get your friends and neighbors to the polls.  Give 'em a ride or walk with them if they need help getting there.
  • Bring a government-issued ID with you to the polls.  It's not required, but there were a lot of voters being challenged on February's Election Day.  Don't lose your right to vote:  Bring your driver's license, state ID or passport with you.
  • If you see anyone being harassed, if you see voter fraud, if you see something that's not right, call the Board of Elections at 312-269-7870.  Shame (and a pox) on anyone who tries to take the democratic process away from the voters through the use of dirty tricks.
  • The polling place for the 4th Precint has moved.  If you usually vote at Lawrence House, you will vote at 920 West Lakeside Place instead.  If you can't walk that distance, call your candidate's office!
  • Be patient with election volunteers, poll watchers and election judges. They are community members who don't do this very often.
  • Most importantly, remember that someone will win and someone won't.  Feelings will be raw for a while after this hard-fought, emotional, expensive race.  But we'll all still be neighbors come April 6th.  Be kind to each other, okay?
After the polls close, you can watch the returns come in online at http://www.chicagoelections.com/, or on tv.  WGN will have live election returns on its sister stations:  9.2, Channel 353 on Comcast, and WOW:197.

Each candidate will hunker down with supporters while the results come in.
  • Molly Phelan will be at the Riviera Theatre (Lawrence and Broadway).  From her email blast:  "Please join us at the Riviera Theater, Lawrence and Broadway, for an evening of camaraderie, celebration, Election Day stories and return-watching. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. Space is limited. Please bring a copy of this e-mail to ensure your admission."
  • James Cappleman's supporters will be at Nick's Uptown (Sheridan and Irving Park) from 7-11pm.  From his Facebook invitation:  "On behalf of the Cappleman for Alderman team, we would like to invite you to join us at Nick's Uptown once the polls close for what is promising to be an eventful night."

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