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South Lawndale Residents Exercise Their Right to Vote

Darlene Matthews, an election judge in her mid-40s, said she has worked elections since former president Bill Clinton was running for office. And these days, the process is a lot more modern. “I was a judge when we were punching holes [in the ballot].”

Voter Idalia Sanmiguel, 53, works at the United Center and came down the street to pick up an Obama sign outside the Toman library.

It was quiet at 11 a.m. at the Toman branch of the Chicago Public Library at 2708 S. Pulaski Road on the west side near South Lawndale. Though they were bundled up in coats and scarves in the chilly weather, the few voters who filtered in and out of the library seemed happy.

The polling place is located within the city’s primarily Latino 22nd ward. While the number of voters seemed low at mid-day, Matthews said the morning was busier and expected the pace to pick up as people came home from work.

Jose Dominguez, 54, a retired steel worker, came out of the polling place proudly holding his voting receipt. “I have the right to vote,” he said adding that if he has the right then he is going to go do it.

Idalia Sanmiguel, 53, who voted at a different polling place down the street stopped by the library to nab an Obama sign that was hanging outside the entrance.

She said where she voted didn’t have them and she wanted one. She said she voted because she is a United States citizen and she needs a worthy president. “I have been telling everyone to go vote,” Sanmiguel said.

“My voice is being heard,” said election judge Matthews. She plans to be a judge as long as she can.


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