Voter turnout low in Chicago, aldermanic candidate arrested

April 5, 2011

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(WBEZ/Tony Arnold)
The polling location at Brenneman Elementary School in Chicago's 46th Ward

To say the level of excitement at polling locations around the city has varied may be an understatement.

"It's been dreadfully slow. A very boring day to be an election judge," said David Ratowitz, an election judge in Chicago's 43rd Ward on the North Side.

He said he had much more fun being an election judge in the 2008 presidential election.

"A really busy election makes time fly. This has been a long, slow - an endurance battle," Ratowitz said.

Things have been more exciting in Chicago's 16th Ward on the South Side. A spokesman for the city's Board of Elections says aldermanic candidate Hal Baskin was arrested this afternoon for verbally assaulting an election judge.

Meantime, a spokesman for Baskin's campaign says there was unlawful electioneering going on at that voting location and it was the election judge who was acting belligerently.

Estimates coming in show just over 20 percent of eligible Chicago voters are casting ballots. In all, 14 aldermanic races are up for contention in Chicago. More than 700 offices are up for election in suburban Cook County.