As the candidates make their final preparations, the question on everyone's mind is how many people will actually show up to vote tomorrow?
Early and absentee voting numbers sometimes offer a hint at how many will go to the polls. This year about 2,050 people within the city of Rockford voted early, around 1,600 sent in an absentee ballot. In Winnebago County outside the city limits, 925 voted early, 845 absentees voted. Those numbers are about average. In the county and the city combined, 180,000 people are registered to vote. Election organizers expect forty to fifty percent of those to go to the polls tomorrow.
County Clerk Margie Mullins says, "Tomorrow I'm hoping that there will be a good steady stream of people. It's supposed to be a nice day so there's no reason for them not to go out and vote."
Still it's always hard to predict what will bring people to the polls or what will keep them away.
Says Rockford voter Nancy Estrada, "There's a lof of issues we need to really think about, the war of course being one of them, but there's a lot of everyday things in Illinois, right here in Rockford where we live."
Bryan Bunsheath, another Rockford voter is not planning to vote, he says, "I'm not interested in politics so much."
Another question mark is how many people will use the new voting touch screen systems that cost more than $600,000 to install. About half the Winnebago County early voters used the system.
Representatives from the county clerk's office are making sure all the polling stations are ready tonight. They'll be out tomorrow to make sure everything runs smoothly. For any last minute information you can call the clerk's office at 815-319-4252 or log on to their website at www.co.winnebago.il.us