Early risers headed to the Lemont Park District polling place to vote Tuesday. The race that drew the most interest for many was for the next governor of Illinois.
Gabriella Terner, an undergraduate student at Lewis University in Romeoville, said, “I decided to vote because as a person starting to be able to do things like this I want to take every opportunity to feel like I am a part of this community and hopefully make a difference.”
Turner said she knew right away that she wanted to vote. She said she did not have had an early favorite but she enjoyed watching the candidate debates between Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican challenger Bruce Rauner.
“I made sure I watched the debates. First we talk about them in class a lot and also it is kind of pointless to vote for someone unless you like what they stand for and know what they are going to do for your state,” Terner said.
Another early voter was John Montgomer, a resident of Lemont and the father of four children.
“Part of why I voted was because I want to set an example for my kids,” he said. “My oldest is 17, so I want to try to show her all about the debates and the importance of what’s going on.”
Another reason he voted was because he loves politics, he said. “I watched one of the debates, and I wish I watched the others. It is such a tight race, and I feel they have such interesting view points on subjects,” Montgomer said.
Montgomer said he even considered a career in politics as an undergraduate student but decided against it after he discovered his love for architecture. “Now it is more of a hobby than a career goal,” he explained.
Carol Benter volunteered to work at the polling place Tuesday and said she’d noticed people don’t mind talking about which candidates they like and don’t like.
“This is my second year working this, and I do it because it is another way to participate in the voting season and to help this small town,” Benter said.
The race this year between Quinn and Rauner has been close, according to the Chicago Tribune, which reported in Tuesday’s paper that nearly 242,000 voters caste early ballots in person in the city and suburban Cook since Oct. 20. That is an increase from the nearly 170,000 votes cast in the last gubernatorial election in 2010.
Benter said, “I think both candidates are good, just depending on what your views are and beliefs on things. It will definitely be a close race.”
Many early voters complained about how slow the process of voting was in Lemont.
Montgomer said, laughing, “I think it’s just because it’s the beginning of the morning. Who isn’t a little slow in the morning?”
Benter agreed, adding, “Once we get a steady routine and get organized it should go faster. The goal is to get people in and out.”