Election day 2012 is here. Today, we provide the latest news, views and info from Illinois polling places and beyond.
Election day 2012 is here.
This morning, we caught up with 10th congressional district Democratic candidate Brad Schneider. The Red Oak Elementary School in Highland Park was bustling with voters who went to cast their vote as polls opened early this morning. Schneider, who's running in the 10th district, voted with his two sons Adam, 19, Daniel, 18, and his wife Julie. More than 40 Schneider volunteers arrived before the sun rose to greet voters and the Democratic candidate outside the polling place, PI's Ellyn Fortino reported. Click through for the story and our interview with the candidate and voters in the district.
We also looked at the youth vote and who they might turn out for today at the polls.
Be sure to check back often with Progress Illinois today for current news and happenings in Illinois and across the nation. Tonight, we'll also be reporting live from Obama headquarters at McCormick Place and the Thompson Center viewing party as well as from the immigration march and vigil scheduled to take place this evening and several congressional campaign headquarters.
UPDATE 1 (12:05 p.m.): This morning, German native Axel Hoffman spoke to PI's Michael Sandler at the Merlo Library on Belmont Ave. near Broadway in Chicago. Hoffamn, who has been living in Chicago for 20 years, told Sandler that his main concern for the U.S. is the nation's overall infrastructure, along with education. He also mused that in Germany, each candidate got equal airtime on television, which is not the case here in the U.S. Check back for more form Hoffman and other voters in Sandler's report from Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood.
UPDATE 2 (12:15 p.m.): From PI's Ellyn Fortino reporting from the 10th congressional district:
About 3,000 voters are registered to vote in precincts 208, 209, 2010 in Highland Park, according to Highland Park High School poll site manager Jeff Cohen. At 9:47 a.m. today, 458 people had voted at the polling location.
"We opened at six, so it’s been 227 minutes, so we’re running two voters a minute, which is really great for us," said Cohen. "We love that."
There were no lines to vote. Voters were surprise how quick and easy the process was.
UPDATE 3 (12:27 p.m.): PI's Matthew Blake ran into Ald. Robert Fioretti (2nd) in the the 10th state House district who said that Unity Party candidate Lance Tyson could have done more to get out the vote in his race against embattled incumbent Derrick Smith. Progress Illinois took a look at this odd race on Friday.
UPDATE 4 (12:35 p.m.): Multiple voters are telling PI's Matthew Blake that they don't know where their polling place is and are confused about the changes. Progress Illinois reported on this anticipated problem yesterday.
Voters who are confused about where to vote can call the Chicago Board of Elections at 312-269-7870. Chicago residents lookig to vote can also text message their street address to 312-361-8846 to get their polling place. For example, if you text your address in this format: 1234 W. 56th St., you will get reply text with your appropriate polling place.
UPDATE 5 (12:45 p.m.): Democratic 11th congressional district candidate Bill Foster stood outside of a polling place at a middle school in Bolingbrook this morning, greeting voters as they went in to cast their ballot. When asked by PI's Steven Ross Johnson about how he felt about his chances, Foster said he felt good about the turnout thus far, which he said was key for Democrats to win.
"Even in areas throughout sort of this I-88 corridor, you're seeing very strong interest on the part of Democrats here," Foster said. "So I'm feeling really good."
UPDATE 6 (12:57 p.m.): Cook County Clerk David Orr's office reports that a mom-to-be with contractions five minutes apart (and whose water had broken) made a detour to her polling place in Dolton, IL at 8:30 a.m. this morning before heading to the hospital.
"If only all voters showed such determination to vote," said Orr. "My hat goes off to Galicia [Malone] for not letting anything get in the way of voting. What a terrific example she is showing for the next generation, especially her new son or daughter." (Image courtesy of Orr's office)
UPDATE 7 (1:20 p.m.): PI's Matthew Blake reports that of the eight or so people he talked to in the 10th state House district about Constitutional Amendment 49, they all said they voted 'no' on the referendum, saying that it was too confusing and seemed too trivial of an issue to make a change to the state's constitution.
UPDATE 8 (2:23 p.m.): Precincts in Hyde Park, the president's neighborhood, and the 2nd congressional district are reporting to PI's Brandon Campbell high levels of voter turnout despite some confusion over new polling places.
UPDATE 9 (2:47 p.m.): President Obama is expected to get a game of pickup basketball today before getting down to the business of election night. NBC's Ward Room looks at why the POTUS has to play a game of bball today.
UPDATE 10 (3:14 p.m.): PI's Steven Ross Johnson caught up with some voters in the 11th congressional district along with Democratic candidate Bill Foster, who says he is optimistic about turnout and his chances at a win. Click through for the full story.
UPDATE 11 (3:50 P.M.): Derrick Smith may be federally indicted. But it appears that West Side Chicago voters, and even local officials, are not making it a priority to keep him out of office. We'll have a story on the happenings in the 10th state House district shortly.
UPDATE 12 (4:05 p.m.): We caught up with 8th congressional district Democratice candidate Tammy Duckworth as she voted earlier today. We'll have more from her in a bit.
UPDATE 13 (4:40 P.M.): Click through to read the touching story of how one 95 year-old was able to vote and why one 10th congressional district voter was angered by 8th congressional district attack ads.
UPDATE 14 (6:20 p.m.): PI's Aricka Flowers is now at Obama's headquarters, reporting from the media dungeon at the moment.
UPDATE 15 (6:28 p.m.): The Chicago Board of Elections Web site was down for the majority of today amid some confusion about what polling places voters should cast their ballot. We take a look at what happened.
UPDATE 16 (6:37 p.m.): From PI's Ellyn Fortino: Only a few people and press are at the Northbrook Hilton, where the party for Democratic candidate Brad Schneider in the 10th congressional district is expected to kick off at 7 p.m. after polls close.
UPDATE 17 (6:44 P.M.): Despite a federal indictment on bribery charges and being kicked out of the Illinois General Assembly in August, former state Rep. Derrick Smith may be elected to his old seat today in Illinois’ 10th House district. We went down to the district and talked to voters along with Ald. Robert Fioretti.
UPDATE 18 (6:57 p.m.): Polls close here in Illinois in just 3 minutes!!!
UPDATE 19 (7:02 p.m.): CNN is calling Illinois for President Obama, which isn't a shock...
UPDATE 20 (7:12 p.m.): We caught up with Tammy Duckworth in the 8th congressional district today. See what she had to say about her closely-watched race against Tea Partier Joe Walsh.
UPDATE 21 (7:31 p.m.): It's a wrap for our election day liveblog. Head over to our election night liveblog for the latest news and updates this evening.
Top Image: AP Photo/The Elkhart Truth, Jennifer Shephard