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State Rep. Robyn Gabel told Democratic supporters at a party gathering in Evanston this evening that turnout of same-day registration voters at the Civic Center today was huge.

Gabel said the same day registration and voting — available for the first time this year — could mark a major new way to boost election turnout.

She said she talked to students waiting in line to vote. Some told her they’d just been too busy with midterms and other activities to register or vote sooner. But others said they rather liked the drama of showing up at the last minute — even though they may have had to wait in line for an hour or more.

None of the same-day registration votes are being counted tonight. They’re considered provisional ballots and won’t be added to the vote totals until after address and other information used to register is verified.

Gabel was running unopposed today for re-election to her state house district, which includes most of Evanston.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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