Voters converge on the polls early

Cathy Decker/Staff reporter
Voters stood in line at Mercer 1 precinct at the Aledo Fire Station Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008. By 8 a.m. there had already been more than 90 voters show up to the polls there. The polls in Illinois close today at 7 p.m.

Nationally, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008, could become an historic voting day in the nation, due to the importance of the presidential election. Locally there are a number of issues that could also bring out voters, including a school consolidation vote between Aledo and Westmer School districts and a number of municipal issues, such as tax increase questions in the city of Aledo, for a .025 percent increase in the cemetery tax, a yes or no question in the Village of Viola of whether the sale of alcohol shall be prohibited (or whether the village to try and capture a four percent sales tax for liquor sales) and a proposition in the Greene Township Fire Protection District raising taxes from .03 percent to .04 percent.

Voters will also say yeah or nay to a question that comes up every 20 years in Illinois, of whether the state should hold a constitutional convention.

Voters are expected to be out in record numbers throughout the nation. Early voting numbers have also been high.

Mercer County Clerk Tom Hanson said that prior to election day 953 absentee and early voters had been requested. The last day for early voting was Oct. 30, with the start day on Oct. 14.

Other issues on the Mercer County ballot included votes for U.S. Senator, U.S.Representative in the 17th congressional district; Illinois State Senator in the 36th and 47th legislative districts; Illinois General Assembly representatives in the 72nd and 94th districts; the Regional Office of Education superintendent (Henderson - Mercer - Warren counties); Mercer County Circuit Clerk, State's Attorney, Coroner, and County Board members. There was also a question on judicial retention for three judges.

Voters in the Aledo and Westmer School districts had a chance to choose a school board by selecting seven members, if the consolidation issue is passed.

Mercer County voters living in the Alwood School District #225, also voted on an annual tax increase for education rising from 2.54 percent to 3.45 percent.

The weather in Illinois may also break records, as temperatures are expected to be in the 70s in Mercer County.