Picture the scene from this afternoon: six candidates from three local races, plus one advocate on one side of the District 97 referenda, huddled just outside the south entrance of Oak Park Village Hall.
As rain fell steadily, the clock ticked toward 5 p.m., the deadline on the 13th and final day of early voting.
The precipitation pushed us to take cover, next to the revolving door entrance. (Note to election-law aficionados: we were all well in excess of the minimum required distance from the polling place, since the “place” was not the front door, but a room ensconced deep inside Village Hall.)
At the tail end of what would prove to be the busiest day of early voting (471 voters in 480 minutes!), there always seemed to be someone who was approaching our little gathering. A candidate would inquire if he or she was an early voter. Once that fact was confirmed, and the voter’s body and verbal language gave the go-ahead to do so, we would take turns handing out brochures, fliers, and business-size cards as we introduced ourselves:
Glenn Brewer, Simone Boutet, Deno Andrews and Dan Moroney, all running for the Oak Park Village Board of Trustees; Heather Claxton-Douglas running for the District 97 Elementary School Board of Education; and yours truly, running for the District 200 High School Board of Education.
It all felt a little bit like a Saturday Night live skit–Live, From Oak Park—It’s Election-Time Live!–as Joe or Jane Voter would grin and politely receive our literature. Truth be told, not every voter was so amused, or open to our last-second pitches. Nobody got nasty, but a few would utter variations on “I’m all set” or “I know how I am voting” before ducking inside.
That’s one of the beauties of our democracy: nobody is under any obligation to think, react, or vote, alike.
Tomorrow, with the District 200 High School Board race as well as the other races and referenda on the ballot, we discover just how much variation has emerged over the past few months. I have worked hard and hope to have earned your vote. If elected, I will continue to apply the same diligence to serve you well!
To learn the location of your polling place on Election Day, Tuesday, April 4th, go to www.cookcountyclerk.com, and click on “Your Voter Information,” located on the left side of the home page. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.