There’s a clicker waiting for you to record your ideas Sunday for how to celebrate the city’s sesquicentennial  — unless you were among those who turned out for one of four Evanston150 voting sessions today.

About 50 people participated in the first of two sessions this afternoon at Evanston Township High School.

The got a briefing from Evanston150 steering committee member Jay Lytle on how to use the hand-held devices to record their votes.

Then they worked through the list of 100 ideas — five at a time.

For every five items, voters could select up to three that they liked, and rank those three in first, second, and third place order.

The goal of this weekend’s exercise is to trim the list to 30 semi-finalists, which will be winnowed by a selection jury to a final list of 10 to be unveiled next month.

The voting sessions take 45 minutes or less. Sunday’s sessions are scheduled for 1, 2:15 and 3:30 p.m.  at St. Francis Hospital.

In addition to the sessions at ETHS this afternoon, two morning sessions were held at the Century Theatre downtown. Organizers said about 70 people voted in the first of those sessions.

If you want to prepare your own crib sheet of the ideas you like best, you can find the full list here.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Online voting would have been nice

    I would have been able to participate online – adding an additional hurdle of times and location just makes participation more difficult.   It certainly has eliminated my ability to vote.

    Bummer – I wanted to vote.


    1. Ditto

      I suppose the concern was to prevent people from ballot-stuffing by signing on as multiple people, but I do think there are ways around that (for instance, requiring registration to a mailing address, verifying the mailing address with the phone book and sending the voting URL via US Mail.)

      1. Online voting versus public gathering

        The strategies for implementing, promoting, and allocating the resources for this initiative have leaned heavily toward group process. Online voting and brainstorming, while convenient for some, would not have been an equal substitute for people gathering from many parts of the community to dialogue together about the future and build on each others ideas.

        The potential for voter fraud is more of a risk online – and could skew polling results. Therefore 3 voting venues in geographically different parts of the City were chosen, and multiple session times scheduled to encourage as broad of participation as possible.

        1. Online voting &/or good ‘ole

          Online voting &/or good 'ole paper ballots would be all-Evanston inclusive. 

          We have passed the point in the process for "community dialogue… and building on each others ideas." 

          The voting process is about prioritizing and finalizing!

          We do appreciate the efforts of the volunteers involved, but wish that an easy, all-inclusive voting method was prioritized to make the results meaningful to all of Evanston.

  2. Why wasn’t voting available on line?

    Not having the ability to vote online is a major flaw in trying to maximize wider citizen input – which supposedly is the point!  I thought that this was going to really be a sincere effort to get a broader spectrum of input. Very disappointing.  Same small group of people that always show up for these things will have the influence. 

  3. Most ideas just add to the city deficit- waste of time

    How much is this survey process costing the city of Evanston?

    Does it not seem rather odd that most of the 150 ideas are outlandish ways to spend more money?  The city is already broke- Why should we vote on whether we want a world class music venue, or lake front entertainment, whatever.. The city can't even pay for it's fire, water, and libraries!

    This whole thing seems like a rather silly waste of time (and perhaps money too?)



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