Chicago braces for Obama win

November 5, 2008 12:00 am

, ILLINOIS, November 4 – Voters at Barack Obama’s home turf in Chicago, Illinois turned up in large numbers as early as 4.30am local time to cast their ballot in America’s historic general election.

A spot check by Capital News in various polling centers within the city revealed extremely long queues wrapped around buildings but the numbers rescinded with time.

Mr Jim Ascot, Precinct Captain of 42nd ward, told Capital News that most of the voters preferred to vote early in fear of a predicted heavy turn up.

"We have about 1,800 registered voters in this precinct and we close at 7pm but those who will be on the line by that time would be allowed to vote," Mr Ascot said.

"We will then tally the votes and send them electronically to our clerk’s office where they will tally them and move them forward to the national level," he said.

Mr Ascot added that the turnout was much stronger compared to the last elections in 2004.

The voters said they were committed to vote during the elections.

"It’s either going to be an African American as president or the oldest president in John McCain and the first woman as our Vice President. That’s history," said Ms Kendra a voter.

However, Ms Satchi another voter, expressed dissatisfaction with the number of people they had to vote for.

"I didn’t vote on every potential position because I didn’t know anything about the people who were listed. They were so many," she complained.

The Chairman of Chicago Election Board, Mr Langdon Neal said there were about 1.5 million registered voters in the city.

"It’s very difficult for us to have a system in place where the voters can vote and not have to wait in lines," he said.

Great commitment to vote has been reported this year with early voters waiting for up to three hours, something unheard of in the United States.

Mr Neal said the city had a budget of $23 million for the election.

"We have 17,000 judges of election. In a typical Chicago precinct we have two members of the press, five election judges, two poll watchers and one Civic organization person standing there watching everybody vote to avoid irregularities," the Chairman revealed.

Results were expected by 10.30 pm local time.



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