City of Chicago loses 464,134 votes from voter apathy, since 2008 primary
The City of Chicago has lost 464,134 votes from the total of people that voted in the 2008 primary. Only 16.44% of registered voters actually took part in the 2014 primary that just took place March 18. The statistics show that a trend in voter apathy is steadily increasing in the primary (see Table 1 graphic). Even though the 2008 primary was a presidential primary that produced a black presidential nominee, the 2012 primary was also a presidential primary. Comparing those two primaries, the Republican Party increased by 4,180 votes cast. The Democratic Party decreased by 376,714 votes cast, over 59%, partly because there was no opponent to Democratic incumbent President Barak Obama.
According to the City of Chicago Board of Election results there was an increase, from 2012 to 2014, in the amount of total registered voters. The 2014 primary increased by 79,997 new citizens registered to vote. But the citizens who actually voted decreased by 90,178 votes. The decreased amount that did not vote is more than the new citizens that registered by 10,181 voters.
Voters are not caring enough to get out and vote. Denise, a single mother of three, who did not vote stated, “I just didn’t care. I didn’t like any of the candidates. ” Most voters are voting more on a key candidate that they want to go into office or not get into office, than on issues that would benefit them or against issues that would hurt them.
In speaking with one Alderman on the Westside before the election asking him his thoughts on the upcoming election he stated, “My fear is the turnout projection is going to be low.”His fears were realized because the turnout was very low.
In 2008, there was an extreme jump from 2006 in the amount of Chicago voters who actually voted in the primary by 272,817 votes showing strong voter interest in who was running in the primary. Still, only 52.7% of the voters participated, leaving 47.3% or 618,399 voters who did not vote in that primary but are registered to vote.
On the local city ward level, Table 2 shows the vote total for eight westside wards. All eight show a decrease in the number of voters who cared to participate in the primary.
Of the eight wards, the 37th ward had the smallest decrease between 2012 and 2014. The 29th ward had the highest percentage of its total voters to actually vote with 19%. The 22nd and 25th wards both had the lowest percentage at 10% of their total registered voters. With the trend reaching these record lows, inspiring voters has a void that isn’t being filled.
Reaching younger voters for the primary elections also has critical flaws. When asking young registered voters why they didn’t vote, their response is that “this election is not important, because there is one in November,” said Nakea Gresham. Or as stated by another young man in his middle 20’s, they are just like me “I’m always hearing about some politician going to jail.”
For reasons other than not caring to vote early voting and absentee ballot resources are made available for those who want to vote but are restricted. For more information about these and other resources you can go to http://www.chicagoelections.com
Richard Boykin, candidate for Cook County Commissioner of the 1st District announced, at his Chicago satellite campaign office (5641 W. Division Street) opening, a Day of Action for campaign volunteers on Saturday, January 25.Supporters for Boykin’s were greeted and welcomed for volunteering, neighborhood canvassing and phone banking. They were encouraged by Boykin and Congressman Danny K. Davis, for their determination despite the cold and snow that weekend.
“I am thankul for the positive momentum and support my campaign has received thus far and look forward to solidifying this movement on Chicago’s West Side,” said Boykin. “Much work remains over the coming weeks to prevail in this race. That’s why I’m asking all those who have a stake in our community to lend a helping hand to the campaign during our Day of Action up to the primary in March.”
Boykin recently launched his campaign for Cook County Commissioner among community members, faith leaders, Congressman Danny K. Davis and other elected officials. On the heels of Boykin’s campaign launch, the Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL) offered its support by endorsing his run for the First District Cook County Commissioner seat. CFL, founded in 1896, focuses its efforts on strengthening individual local unions by creating a unified voice for the labor movement in the Chicago area.
“Based on the interview process exercised by the CFL’s Committee on Political Education, our affiliates have moved to support Richard Boykin in his run for Cook County Commissioner,” said CFL President Jorge Ramirez.
In addition to being endorsed by the CFL, several elected officials from Cook County’s First District have also backed Boykin including the following suburban mayors: Oak Park, Maywood, Forest Park, Broadview, Westchester, Bellwood and Hillside.
Boykin, a partner with Barnes and Thornburg, LLP, previously served as chief of staff to Congressman Davis for nine years after being his legislative director. During that time, Boykin played an instrumental role in several of the Congressman’s initiatives including welfare-to-work, health care, energy and utility, and appropriations accomplishments. Key areas of focus for Boykin’s campaign include criminal justice reform, economic development and expanding access to mental and medical health care services.
For more information about the campaign, please visit http://www.boykinforcookcounty.com or call 708-948-7913.
Get Covered Illinois today announced a church-based enrollment drive during Black History Month to enroll uninsured consumers in health insurance before the March 31 open enrollment deadline. Throughout February, more than 50 African-American churches will host events designed to inform and enroll uninsured community members, in addition to hundreds of other Get Covered Illinois enrollment events happening across the state.
The enrollment drive will formally kick off at Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church (7545 S. Vincennes Ave., Chicago, IL 60620) at 10:30 am on Sunday, February 2, where Rev. Walter W. Matthews Sr. will announce the Get Covered Illinois church-based enrollment events during the worship service. Navigators will be present after the service to answer questions and assist with enrollment. Charles Watkins, Regional Outreach Coordinator for Get Covered Illinois will also be present to answer questions about the enrollment drive.
“The Affordable Care Act provides an historic opportunity to close the gap of the uninsured and reduce health disparities that disproportionately affect minority communities,” said Jennifer Koehler, Executive Director for Get Covered Illinois. “Black History Month is an important opportunity to address health barriers impacting the African American community and remind uninsured residents of the affordable, comprehensive coverage options available to them.”
As of December 28, 2013, more than 61,111 Illinois residents have signed up for coverage through the Marketplace. Individuals, families and small business owners have until March 31 to enroll in a health plan before receiving a fine. In order to get coverage beginning March 1, enrollment must be completed by February 15.
Nearly one third of African Americans in Illinois are uninsured. African Americans are impacted by greater health disparities compared to other races and ethnicities for a number of reasons, including lack of access to affordable health care. African Americans are twice as likely as whites to be diagnosed with diabetes, and are disproportionately impacted by cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. According to the Centers of Disease and Control, insurance coverage is strongly related to better health outcomes.
Participating churches will facilitate and provide enrollment resources available through Get Covered Illinois to their congregations and to members of the surrounding community. State-trained Navigators will also be present at these churches throughout February to answer questions, schedule enrollment appointments and enroll residents on-site.
“As a Pastor, I know firsthand how access to quality health care affects the physical and spiritual well-being of our community,” said Rev. Walter W. Matthews Sr. of the Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church. “The African American faith community is proud to partner with Get Covered Illinois to provide uninsured residents with the enrollment assistance they need to secure affordable, comprehensive health coverage.”
For a complete list of enrollment events throughout the state, visit getcoveredillinois.gov/events. Enter your zip code or address to find an event near you.
Under the Affordable Care Act, thousands of Illinoisans who were previously unable to get insurance can now get covered. All plans included in the Marketplace must:
• Cover recommended preventive services free of charge
• Include a cap on out-of-pocket costs
• Have no lifetime or yearly dollar limit on coverage
• Not reject anyone on the basis of a pre-existing condition
Get Covered Illinois is urging health care consumers to take advantage of the assistance that is being offered via the web, over the phone and in person through hundreds of community partners across the state:
• Visit our website at getcoveredillinois.gov (includes a Spanish-language version).
• Call the Get Covered Illinois Help Desk at (866) 311-1119. Operators available daily from 8 am – 8 pm.
• Meet in person with a specially trained “Navigator” who can help you understand your options and even help you enroll at one of the hundreds of partner sites across the state. There are more than 1,500 Navigators that can be located by visiting the website and entering your zip code or through the Help Desk.
• Attend a Get Covered Illinois event. Visit getcoveredillinois.gov/events to find an event near you.
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