Election Board Chairman: Interest Still Lacking In Primary

CHICAGO (CBS) — The March 20 Illinois primary election is fast approaching, and so far, the head of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners says the campaign isn’t stirring much excitement among voters.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, Board of Elections Chairman Langdon Neal says early voting numbers are running fairly comparable to the non-presidential primary two years ago.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports

“It’s not the same level of interest that we had four years ago for the presidential primary – that was our all-time high,” Neal said. “But we had Barack Obama on the ballot and it was a very hotly-contested race.”

Neal is disappointed that for the first time, the Chicago Sun-Times is declining to make endorsements.

“It was an easy reference source for most voters to go to to learn about the judicial candidates, and I think that is a very negative consequence of the Sun Times-pulling away,” he said.

The Sun-Times announced it would quit making political endorsements in an editorial published in January. The editorial essentially said as a newspaper endorsements are passé at a time when there are so many other sources of information that “allow even a casual voter to be better informed than ever before.”

The elections board says this year, it has another way to answer the most-asked question on election day – “Where is my polling place?”

Neal says now you can text to (312) 361-8846 and the board will text you back where to go.

  • Me

    I’ll give you two big reasons that interest is down.
    1) All the negative BS spewed by everyone…PACs, Candidates, extra people, both elected and not (Lovey Smith having a primary ad for the Pres??)
    2) A politician is a politician…Blago just reinforced the valid perception that all politicians are thieves and crooks.

    Combine that with the Gerrymandering (which is only illegal when the Republicans do it) that Madigan and his cronies did to push heavily leaning Republican districts into single districts so that Madigan can strengthen his hold on Springfield and DC. In an area as big as the Chicago area, why should someone in Will Co be forced to share their US Rep with someone from the Evanston area?

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