Presidential race brings voters to polls
Precinct workers at the District 84 administration center greet voters Tuesday afternoon. | Mark Lawton~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 9, 2012 7:28PM
LEYDEN TOWNSHIP — Voters in Leyden Township mostly came out to vote for a president rather than the races lower on the ticket Tuesday.
Among them was Michael Johnson, who cast his vote at the District 84 Administration Center in Franklin Park.
“Our country is on the ropes,” said Johnson, a retired interpreter of Japanese. “It’s getting this country where people can talk to each other.”
Johnson voiced enthusiasm for President Barack Obama.
“I would vote for the current president if he had a stroke and was comatose,” Johnson said.
A small but steady stream of people entered the Administration Center to vote Tuesday afternoon. Many waited for the two electronic voting machines rather than use paper ballots.
That included Terri Morrow-Estrada, who made a point of grabbing an “I voted” sticker before leaving. Morrow-Estrada is studying education at Triton College.
“I guess after 45 years I’m seeing how my vote does make a difference,” she said. “I voted for Clinton and then I didn’t vote again until Obama.”
Morrow-Estrada said her time off from voting was due to perceiving candidates as less than honest.
“I didn’t feel like any presidential candidate was truthful,” she said. “I have the idea that they say whatever they need to get elected.”
Keri Wenckowski brought her daughter along in a stroller to watch her vote. She voted for Obama because of the Affordable Care Act – which she called “Obama-care.”
“Some of my family members have difficulty with insurance due to pre-existing conditions,” she said. “My cousin’s girlfriend went into a coma that affected her brain. When she came of legal age, she found it impossible to find insurance for medical care.”
At St. Gertrude’s Parish, Michael Brimie was pleased to have his first opportunity to vote. “Last election I was 17,” said Brimie, a tool and die worker.
Like many others, Brimie voted only for a few of the several dozen judges on the ballot.
David Aguirre, a deputy sheriff, said it’s his duty as an American to vote. He is also concerned about issues.
“The way the economy is looking,” Aguirre said. “How poor it has become. The security of this nation is a big concern.”
Tom Quinlan, a construction worker, was also concerned about the economy.
“The single biggest issue is the strength of the economy,” Quinlan said. “I’m not confident enough in what we’ve seen the last four years.”
At St. Gertrude’s, voters lined up to use two electronic voting machines. The same at Gouin Park, where William Rodriguez, an election judge who normally works as a nurse’s assistant, spoke of not voting for either major party.
“I didn’t vote for Romney or Obama,” Rodriguez said. “Both are talking about change, but there’s not much difference between them.”
Rodriguez, who voted Libertarian, suggests firing the Federal Reserve and getting rid of international trade treaties such as GATT and NAFTA.
“All these countries don’t have to pay tariffs,” Rodriguez said. “How do you compete with those other countries where they have slave labor?”
Property taxes brought Mike Mayrens, a laboratory technician, out to vote.
“Our property taxes are outrageous,” he said. “One payment is more than the whole year (1984) when I first bought my house.”
Alan Quinones, who works security and attends Concordia University Chicago, was excited to vote for the first time. Eighteen years old, he was concerned with keeping tuition rates low and making sure there are scholarships available.