It’s finally good riddance to all of those nasty campaign commercials which could turn Santa Claus into a cybersecurity threat (“He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake!’).

Now, the voters get their say, but nearly 8,000 Evanstonians, or 15% of the registered total of 51,370, have already voted early, according to the County Clerk’s office.

But the majority will still cast their ballots the old-fashioned way, on Election Day, today, and the cool and sunny fall weather could not have been better.

Doug Page voted mid-morning at the Lake Street Church polling place.

“I vote because I care,” Page said.

While Page said he votes in every election, this year he said he was particularly upset with all of the divisiveness in the nation.

“I would be horrified if I had a teacher who was constantly dishonest,” Page said. But distortions and lies, he noted, have become far too common in politics.

“I vote for the people who are best for us,” Page said. “It’s a blessing to be able to vote.”

Citizens statewide are deciding whether to re-elect Democratic governor J.B. Pritzker, or replace him with downstate Republican Darren Bailey. Pritzer is favored in the heavily blue state, as are the other statewide Democrats and incumbent U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth.

Signs of the times in front of a polling place.

Congressional, state legislative, and judicial candidates are also on the ballot, along with a measure to make the right to collective bargaining a part of the state constitution.

Closer to home, there is a tax hike for the Cook County Forest Preserve, and in Evanston alone, voters are being asked to install ranked choice voting as the way of electing municipal officials.

While Evanston usually has high voter turnout, back in the June primary, this community also had the dubious distinction of having the precinct with the single lowest number of voters countywide, either in person or by mail. Zero.

That was the total for Precinct 7-6. None. Nada. Zilch.

That polling place is at the Alice Millar Chapel at Northwestern University, so it’s likely that students were not in town, or not involved enough to vote by mail.

Today, however, the zero voter distinction was shattered, as Evanston Now observed one voter leaving Millar after making her choices.

And more were expected.

Polling place at Alice Millar Chapel.

The voter we saw said she was too busy to be interviewed.

“I have to get to class,” she said.

But perhaps Doug Page, the Lake Street voter, spoke for her and for everyone else who cast ballots by saying “Even though I’m just one vote, they all add up.”

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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