Julie Lyskava, left, of Crown Point, signs in to vote with Jack Kemp and Amanda Gilbert during the presidential election on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, at Solon Robinson Elementary School, in Crown Point. | Scott R. Brandush~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 8, 2012 6:25AM
Voting in presidential elections is typically heavier than other contests, but poll workers throughout the region reported a higher-than-usual turnout Tuesday.
“We had 80 absentee ballots, that’s the most I’ve ever seen,” Andrea Bailey, a poll worker at Hobart’s Maria Reiner Senior Center said.
“Last time I think there were 10,” she recalled.
Voting there was “steady. No lines, just steady,” Lloyd Houpt said. “But now I’ve usually read about four chapters of my book, but I haven’t even picked it up,’’ he said.
In Gary’s Glen Park neighborhood, precinct committee chairman Mary Williams spent the day driving voters to their polling sites.
At Christ United Methodist Church, voting business was brisk and friendly.
Cowena Lewis, a resident of the neighborhood for 10 years, walked to the church to cast her vote.
Arriving shortly before noon, Lewis sat in an empty folding chair for a moment and chatted with poll workers.
“I came at this time so I could be sure to take my time,” she said.
In Highland, some precincts reported more than 50 percent voter turnout by early afternoon.
Everywhere, election workers were preparing for crowds in the afternoon when people ended their work day.
“We’ll have lines then,” Houpt said.