Voter Lily McGraw was eager to cast her ballot on Tuesday in favor of what she refers to as a “personal issue”: health insurance companies covering the cost of birth control.
“The main issue that’s most important to me is that birth control should be covered by insurance companies,” McGraw said. “It directly affects me on a personal level.”
Voters gathered at St. Augustine College, a polling location in the neighborhood of Logan Square, to vote in the 2014 midterm election. Like McGraw, many voters were adamant about specific issues.
The midterm ballot includes Illinois referendum questions like raising the minimum wage, the Right to Vote amendment, which focuses on making voting accessible to everyone, and a victims’ bill of rights as well as the question about birth control. Another ballot question would increase the income tax by 3 percent on those who earn $1 million or more each year.
A security officer who would give his name only as Officer Rash, said he was interested in casting a ballot so he could vote on the minimum wage increase.
“As long as they take care of that, I’ll be happy,” Rash said. Rash had not voted at the time of the interview but planned to cast his vote later in the evening.
All of the voters interviewed on Tuesday said they would be voting primarily Democratic. George Dixon said he feels the need to vote because it’s the only way he can “make change.
Even though residents of Logan Square turned out at St. Augustine’s, a poll done by the Pew Research Center said that this year’s voter turn out will be lower than 2012 and lower than presidential election years dating as far back as the 1840s.
Voters like Dixon feel it’s their civic duty to cast a vote.
“It’s my right as an American,” Dixon said. “It’s the only way you can attempt to really make change.”
McGraw shared the same sentiments, saying she didn’t feel that voting was a “need” but more of a “self-satisfactory” move.
Also on the ballot is the governor’s race between Republican Bruce Rauner and incumbent Democrat Pat Quinn. The candidates have been running neck and neck since the end of summer.
“I’m going to stick with the Democrats and the present governor,” Rash sai
Dixon said he is also interested in voting Democrat but not for the governor’s race; he wants to make sure the Democrats hold power in the U.S. Senate.
If the Republicans get a net gain of six seats they will take control of the Senate.
“The administrations that we have are lousy,” Dixon said. “We’ve got to make a change.”