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Vernon Hills poll sees light voter turn out

Long-time election judges Tom Cavalier, Bonnie Cavalier and Charlie Ramsey help voters with ballots during Tuesday's elections. (Chicago Tribune\Amy Alderman)

Long-time election judges Tom Cavalier, Bonnie Cavalier and Charlie Ramsey help voters with ballots during Tuesday's elections. (Chicago Tribune\Amy Alderman)

Turnout has been light at Vernon Hills polls so far, according to election judges.

By the late afternoon, the Sullivan Community Center at 635 Aspen Drive in Vernon Hills, had seen about 400 voters or 10 percent of eligible voters in the 197-199, 247, 255 and 257th precincts, said site manager Dave Totsch.

“I think we might get close to 15 percent. I’m doubting we’re gonna double the turnout we’ve had so far,” Totsch said.

Totsch believes people aren’t showing up to vote because people don’t have a full grasp of the election process. Also, Vernon Hills doesn’t have a controversial referendum on the ballot this primary, he said.

Like many communities, Vernon Hills voters do have an electricity aggregation referendum on the ballot, which asks if voters would give the village the green light to bid for competitive pricing on electricity supply.

Election judge Charlie Ramsey, who has volunteered at the polls for more than a decade, said he believes the turnout is low this primary because more people voted early.

Voter Lynn Gibson, 63, was disappointed to see she was one of a small number of people casting a ballot.

“It’s a shame,” she said, adding she felt “obligated” to vote.

“I’m an American, and people have died for it,” she said.

The most important race to her was the 10th District congressional election in which she voted for Democrat Brad Schneider. He has what it takes to beat interim Republican Rep. Robert Dold in the general election, she said.

Despite the low turnout, seniors Bonnie Cavalier and Tom Cavalier said they still find the voting process thrilling after more than a decade of volunteering as election judges.

“Seeing people come out to vote is inspiring,” Bonnie Cavalier said.

Another election judge, Charlie Ramsey, 55, took pride in his work.

“I’m proud to be able to assist in the democratic process, because that’s what makes our country great,” Ramsey said.

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