Apparently City Clerk Rodney Greene knows how to entertain a crowd. Since mid-October, reports from the Civic Center told of long lines and waits of an hour or more to vote early in the presidential election. There seemed to be few, if any, complaints, even though the waiting lines often stretched the length of the first-floor hall and at one time even trailed up the stairs. Mr. Greene said for the most part, people were happy to be voting and very cooperative.
“We had 9,053 early voters, but not all of them were from Evanston. Anyone from suburban Cook County could vote here,” he said. He estimated that about 6,000 of the early voters were from Evanston.
“We clapped and cheered every time there was a first-time voter,” Mr. Greene said, and added, “no one objected when the elderly or the handicapped or mothers of young children were allowed to go to the head of the line.
“One woman called and asked how long the line was; she wanted to vote early because she had to go to the hospital on [Election Day] to have her baby. We said, ‘Come on in,’ and when she came, people were happy to see her and sent her to the head of the line.”
Mr. Greene said 35,103 of Evanston’s 42,928 registered voters cast their ballots in this election – a record number, he said, “for the last two elections.”
First-time voters ranged in age from newly registered 18-year-olds to the “seasoned,” Mr. Greene said. “We think the oldest first-time voter was 65 years old,” he said.