There was a line for the touch-screen machines when I got to the polling place yesterday, and none for a paper ballot, so since I was on my way to work, I went with the paper ballot. (It's an optical scan system that looks for dark marks rather than a punch ballot. There were reports that some precincts ran out of the "special pens" because people kept forgetting to return them.) Ended up taking about the same amount of time as someone on the touch screen.
I wore an American flag tie to work yesterday, and walked around wearing an "I voted!" sticker that the precincts were handing out with the proof of voting ticket. While looking for a book in the adult nonfiction collection, I was stopped by two older middle-aged women who wanted to know where they could leave books that they don't want to check out. (They were standing right next to one of the carts we leave out for exactly that purpose, so it was an easy answer.) They then noticed the tie (I got comments on it all day--but really, there aren't many days out there when it's more appropriate and the library's not closed for said holiday), and from there, the sticker.
Them: "Where'd you get that sticker?"
Me: "They were handing them out at the precinct where I voted this morning."
Them: "Are they doing that at all the precincts?"
Me: "I have no idea, but they were doing it at mine."
Them: "Did they know that you work in a public facility when they gave that to you?"
Them: "Oh. That's interesting."
I couldn't quite get a read on what they were actually trying to get at with that last question. It's possible that, since my library is a polling place, that they thought I'd voted there and that they somehow thought it might be electioneering or some such for an employee to walk around the building on election day wearing an "I voted!" sticker on his shirt. It's also possible that they thought the stickers were only being given to employees of "public" buildings as a way to raise voter awareness. I really don't know.
However, that tells me that they're either not from around here, or haven't voted anywhere in the area for many years, because they've been handing out stickers of this exact design for probably 10 years now at every precinct I've voted at, and I later saw several people who voted at other precincts--at least one in another county--wearing them, so it's not exactly an uncommon or brand-new thing.
So Illinois now has an all-Democrat statehouse for the first time in 74 years. The best take on the governor's (then impending) win I've heard is that the chances of him finishing his term outside of a jail cell are just small enough that voting for him is gambling that it'll actually voting for Pat Quinn, the Lt. Governor (and generally a decent, upstanding guy).
My traditionally Republican district reelected a Democrat to the House, which was good news. Bean's not great, but she generally seems to get the job done well and think for herself--and McSweeney was so far right he scared me.
In the next district south, Tammy Duckworth lost a close race, but given the historical makeup of that district, a Republican has to really screw up to lose. (Though from what I'm seeing of the preliminary totals, that almost happened--I suspect with more Dems moving from the city to the suburbs and more Repubs moving from the suburbs to the city, it's getting more mixed than it used to be.) I hope she runs again.
I haven't heard yet how the four (nonbinding) county & township referenda turned out; one was about implementing a state ban on assault weapons & .50 caliber long guns, one was about raising the minimum wage by a buck, one was about "immediately" starting a troop withdrawal from Iraq starting with the National Guard, and one was about doing away with the requirement of declaring a party affiliation in order to vote in the primaries. Since they're really just interest polls, I'm curious to see how much interest there was in each.
Feudalism: Serf & Turf