CHICAGO (WBBM) – Cook County Clerk David Orr is predicting voter turnout around 50 percent of those eligible and blames negative campaign ads for limiting voter participation.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s John Cody Reports

Orr supervises elections in suburban Cook County.

Orr says negative campaign ads are a critical factor in citizen dissatisfaction with the electoral process. He says they make it difficult to get information needed to make an informed decision.

Orr says when candidates call each other “jerks” and “snakes,” it’s hard for voters to understand what’s really at issue.

Orr also says there’s also something wrong with the cost of campaigns saying: “If you’re not a millionaire you can’t run for office.”

Orr stated flatly: “Misuse of money is destroying democracy.”

Orr says the country needs serious campaign reform including free prime time media for all candidates, not the just the front runners.

Orr spoke at a news conference where he said absentee voting is up in suburban Cook County and reminded voters that if they can’t have their ballots mailed for a November 1st postmark, they should just forget about it and vote in person at their local polling place.