A referendum question that, if approved, would turn over the functions of Evanston Township to the City of Evanston tops the local issues on Tuesday’s election ballot here.

Judging from turnout for early voting at the Evanston Civic Center, neither that nor any of the contests for office on the ballot has stirred up a lot of local interest.

Cook County Clerk David Orr reports that 1,367 people voted early at the Civic Center this year, down 12 percent from the 1,553 who voted earlier in the last gubernatorial primary in 2010.

In 2010, with a hotly contested Democratic primary race for governor, 31.4 percent of Evanston voters turned out — higher than the countywide average of 25.5 percent.

With no major contests on the Democratic ticket this year — Governor Quinn faces only the long-shot opponent Tio Hardiman — it’s predictable that turnout in Evanston — where nearly 88 percent of voters took a Democratic ballot last time — is likely to be down this time.

On the Republican ticket four candidates are battling for the gubernatorial nomination.

There are an array of judgeships up for election as well — including three contested races for different seats on the 9th Judicial Subcircuit — each with one candidate who lives in Evanston — Thomas Cushing, Jerry Esrig and Anjana Hansen.

More information on ratings of the judicial candidates by the Chicago Bar Association can be found online.

Related story

Poll: How will you vote on township dissolution

Related documents

League of Women Voters Township Referendum Fact Sheet

Public Act 098-0127 authorizing the referendum

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. Vote “YES” to Eliminate the Township

    I recently attended the League of Women Voters meeting to discuss factual information about the Township. After listening to the presentations I believe there are 3 reasons to Eliminate the Township:

    Save Money

    Improve Government

    Enhance Services to those in need

    Save money – Alderman Jane Grover said that compared with a couple of years ago, there would be $250,000 in ANNUAL cost savings. In addition, the Head of Health Services, Evonda Thomas-Smith, said there’s another $500,000 in health care and prescription drug costs to be saved. (When people on General Assistance go to the Emergency Room and don’t have Health Care insurance, TAXPAYERS pay list price for drugs – think $18 for 2 Tylenol tablets)

    Improve government – The Township structure is redundant. The Township has the same boundaries as the City of Evanston.

    ALL the current Township services will be transferred to the City of Evanston. The people who need the current General Assistance, Emergency Assistance, and Real Estate Tax Assessor services will continue to receive them.

    Bottom line – all services will continue, and taxpayers save about $750,000 per year.

    And the added benefit is we have one less government body to oversee. As a taxpayer, I have to monitor the City of Evanston Government, Evanston Public Library, School District 65, School District 202, Cook County, State Representative, State Senator,US Representative, and two US Senators, and that doesn’t include Water Reclamation District of Chicago, North Shore Mosquito Abatement, Oakton Community College, and Cook County Forest Preserve District. It takes a lot of time and energy to monitor all government entities and we can’t afford redundant bureaucracies in today’s economy.

    Enhance Services to those in need – The General Assistance and Emergency Assistance programs that are currently provided by the Township are important and will be continued to be provided by the City of Evanston. In fact, under current legislation, those services are required by law to be provided.

    However, the needs of people receiving General Assistance and Emergency Services are not just limited to money. The City of Evanston through the leadership of Evonda Thomas-Smith is already working with these clients to get health care through Erie Health. In addition there are other organizations like Connections for the Homeless and many other resources that are available in the community that are currently not being utilized by many clients. Lastly, the Real Estate Tax services provided by the Tax Assessor will continue to be provided by the City of Evanston.

    Vote “YES” to Eliminate the Township.

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