By Jay Leonardi, Alexandra Miletta and Gina Scarpino
In the final stretch of the 2014 mid-term election, voters were eager to hit the polls Tuesday morning in Lincoln Park.
Despite a relatively low voter turnout, many voters had strong opinions about many of the candidates and referendums.
The Governor’s race is expected to be the most watched race for the night with incumbent Pat Quinn seeking a third term. Opponent Bruce Rauner has never held public office before, but has vowed to “shake up Springfield” if he is elected. Many polls have the two candidates in a dead heat sparking the candidates to push last minute voters to the polls.
In 2010 Quinn barely won re-election to Senator Bill Brady, beating Brady with less than one percent. Brady won all but four counties.
This year many referendums were on the ballot including raising the minimum wage to birth control.
Judith Piccione, of Lincoln Park said she supports women having the right to birth control, but not at the expense of employers.
“I think you can pay for it yourself,” she said. “I don’t think your employers should be involved in it.”
Many voters were happy to have this year’s election season come to an end.
This year was no different from past elections with more negative ads and attacks from Republicans and Democrats. Pat Levy from New York voted absentee and said she voted for the candidates with the least amount of negative ads.
“This year was awful,” She said. She voted to support employers having to provide birth control to employees.
Michael Oxman, 30 said he voted Democrat his entire life, but was reluctant to vote for Quinn this time around. “For governor it was a challenging decision,” he said. “It was difficult to vote for Quinn because he has been very ineffective.”
Despite not wanting to vote for Quinn, he said he felt uncomfortable voting for a Republican.
On the other hand, an anonymous female voter in Lincoln Park was excited to cast her vote for Bruce Rauner. “I think he will actually do something and change the state,” she said.
“I think he will be the Bloomberg of Chicago.”
While she was in favor of the birth control referendum, she opposed the millionaire tax.
“I don’t think it will do anything but support teacher pensions,” she said.
Rauner recently announced that he will not accept a salary, or pension if he is elected governor.
Many other statewide candidates are up for re-election including Comptroller Judy Bar Topinka, Secretary of State Jessie White, and Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
Dairy Magnate Jim Oberwise is running for U.S. Senator against Dick Durbin, who has been in office for over twenty-five years. In recent polls, Oberwise was trailing Durbin in the single digits.
Polling places across Illinois are expected to close at 7pm. With the governor’s race expected to be close, political experts say it is likely that the winner of the governor’s race won’t be officially determined until Wednesday morning.