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They Got Out and Voted: Southland Voters Sound Off on the Prez and Congress

Turnout for Tuesday's primary was low. Patch editors caught up with poll-goers adamant about exercising their right to step into the ballot boxes. What brought them to the polls?

throughout the area, many south suburban residents cast ballots because of races for the GOP presidential nomination and congressional districts that were redrawn last year.

For some voters, their selection in the Republican presidential primary was a matter of finding "the least of all evils." Stephen Buretz, of Frankfort, said that man was Rick Santorum.

"I don't know," Buretz said. "He was the best of the worst. I wasn't decided until I stepped up there."

election judge Barbara Lavey said she thinks the primary's turnout was hampered by voters having to declare their candidacy. She also said she believed that many democrats didn't feel they had to show up at the ballot box.

"It's annoying, but it's true," she said at the in Tinley, which was a polling place for precincts 22 and 67.

Electability played a major factor in voters' considerations, with many believing Mitt Romney would be the candidate most likely to defeat President Barack Obama in the General Election.

"I just think he would beat Obama," Bob Karpel, of New Lenox, said at the polling place. "Obama has no economic background."

Shane Rutledge, of Oak Forest, voted for Ron Paul and said he was just hoping for someone different in the White House.

"I didn't back him on all of his points, but we've both kind of have the same ideas, I think," he said. "Really, I'm just hoping for change. Not 'Change' like that, but just a different thought process from our president."

For more voter feedback, read the captions in the photos or tell us what you think in the comments below.

—Patch editors Jeff Graveline and Joe Vince contributed to this article.

Sgt. USMC March 21, 2012 at 05:28 AM
I hate the fact that you must declare a party in the primaries. I shouldn't have to say either way, I should just be able to vote for the candidate that I choose.
JJR March 21, 2012 at 01:13 PM
A primary is for members of a political party to choose their candidates, so yes, you have to say what party you are in. If you want to choose the GOP candidates then you have to ask for a GOP ballot.
OakLawnGuy March 21, 2012 at 01:32 PM
I believe in California, there is a single primary ballot with all candidates, regardless of party, listed. So, it's possible to have same-party opponents run for state office. I suppose this might encourage party-crossing but there are pitfalls as well. In Illinois, you can cross party lines but only by asking for the ballot of the "opposing" party. Also, I noticed during this year's primary that one had to check the ballot choice on the registry form, and nothing was declared verbally. Never ran into that before.
Dave March 21, 2012 at 02:14 PM
That is exactly what the primary is for. Who you want in the main election in the months to come. It's something that I learned in grade school social studies and civics class and then in high school in US government class. All of which are required at least when I attended primary-high school (80s-92). I go by the thought if you don't vote, don't complain about who is in office or what they are doing as you didn't select someone to represent you. If you did and they lost, then you have more of an argument to complain about how the government is run. What is really annoying are the people who don't vote go and protest. Get involved with knowing who is out there and what they are passing. There are some good sites to show you what the current government is doing and how your representatives are voting on bills. If you don't get involved in writing your government or contacting them voicing your thoughts on bills, at least get educated on who is making what decisions and plan to vote differently the following period.
FrankfortWorkingMom March 21, 2012 at 04:00 PM
"I've been a Democrat all my life," the 89-year-old said. "Mayor (Richard) Daley once told me that if you're a working man, you have to vote Democratic." I would think he's old enough to think for himself for crying out loud.

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