Helen B. Sandidge School, at 16600 66th Avenue in Tinley Park, not far from the southern precipice of Cook County, has technically been defunct since the end of the 2008-2009 school year, This morning, however, one might have been forgiven for thinking it was open again, as cars packed the lot and political signs dotted the driveway, while a sparse procession of voters steadily filed into the front lobby of the school to cast their ballots.
The site opened at 6 a.m., and while foot traffic was light early on, by 9:15 a.m. All booths were consistently filled, and there was a wait to vote. One supporter of Michael Hastings, a candidate for Illinois State Senator, was admonished for handing out campaign materials outside within 100 feet of the door, despite repeated warnings. Otherwise, the scene outside the school remained innocuous.
President Obama is expected to handily win his home state in tonight’s election. Nevertheless, staunch supporters of his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, were present and voting at Sandidge this morning.
One Romney supporter, Lois Bartolini, a local hair stylist at LTL Hair Designers and a Tinley resident of 45 years, said outsourcing of U.S. business needs to stop, and business need to be brought back to the states.
Hold on, though: Hasn’t Romney been criticized as a supporter of outsourcing?
“You have to outsource some [jobs],” Bartolini said, “I realize that. But the majority of [outsourced jobs] are your normal, everyday jobs that people have to have.”
Jessica Esposito, who is a stay-at-home mother and full-time student, said her vote was also going to Romney. Though she is a self-proclaimed regular voter, Esposito said she felt more passionately about this year’s election than in prior years. Both Esposito and Bartolini said they had been disappointed by President Obama’s performance in office and agreed that rebuilding the country’s economy is crucial.
“I think that’s the most important issue right now,” Esposito said. “The social issues are important too, but I feel like we need to focus on the economy first and everything else will fall into place.