5th Ward aldermanic candidate Carolyn Murray stood in front of a polling place this morning, passing out literature and asking voters for their support.

But there were not a lot of voters showing up, at least not in the first few hours of Election Day.

At 9 a.m., Murray, who had been outside the Ebenezer-Primm Towers at Emerson and Maple for three hours, said turnout so far had been “very low.”

Murray said all signs had been pointing to a low turnout, because early voting at the Civic Center did not see a huge flood of voters. Over the 15-day early voting period, 3,047 people cast ballots at the Civic Center, an average of about 200 per day.

There is a chance, however, that mail-in ballots will play a large part in the final result. When early voting began on March 22, Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough said there had been 55,000 mail-in ballot requests countywide, a record for such consolidated elections.

Today’s election will have a major impact on who represents citizens in city government — perhaps leading to the biggest turnover in decades.

There will also be at least one new school board member elected today for Evanston/Skokie District 65. Four slots are on the ballot, but with only three incumbents running for re-election, there will be a minimum of one newcomer.

The District 65 race has been particularly spirited, with three candidates associated with the Reopen Evanston Schools group criticizing polices of the current Board and administration. There are also two other non-incumbents running.

The District 202 race, on the other hand, has been a walk in the park for the three incumbents running for re-election. They are guaranteed to win, as there are no opponents. However, one new board member will have to be appointed, as there are four slots on the board with expiring terms.

The polls are open until 7 p.m. tonight.

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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