Snow could affect voter turnout in 2nd Congressional District primary

February 26, 2013 5:03:12 AM PST
Tuesday is primary day in the race to replace disgraced U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. and weather could affect voter turnout.

The Second District includes the South Side of Chicago and parts of Cook, Will and Kankakee counties.

While campaigning in a sunny South Side parking lot, Alderman Anthony Beale wasn't worried about getting out the vote tomorrow.

"We feel real confident about our ground game tomorrow. So I'm definitely not discouraged by the weather," Beale said.

Candidate Robin Kelly's campaign will adjust to the weather, Kelly said.

"I'm sure it will affect some people but we're taking measures to try and get people to the poll," she said.

With 14 democrats in the race, an even lower-than-expected turnout means a candidate could win the party's nomination with only a few thousand votes.

Former Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson wants voters to repudiate the $2 million ad campaign against her sponsored by New York City Mayor and gun-control advocate Michael Bloomberg.

"A mayor from New York will never control this election. We don't want someone sticking their nose in Illinois politics," Halvorson said.

Activist Paul McKinley is in the Republican primary with three other long-shot candidates in the heavily Democratic district. Each hopes to go one-one-with the favored democrats in the general election in April.

For McKinley, it's a struggle to convert voters one at a time.

"Everything is run by the Democrats so if something is wrong, it's the Democrats' fault," McKinley said.

Most of the democratic candidates and all of the republicans are poorly funded.

One of the candidates is calling for a federal investigation regarding Bloomberg Super PAC's spending on behalf of Kelly.

"I am calling on the Department of Justice to step in and make certain that this election is actually fair," Ernest Fenton said.

Weeks ago, long before anyone had a weather forecast for Election Day, the major campaigns expected no more than a 20-percent turnout which in the neighborhood of 50,000 votes total.

That number could decrease and possibly decrease dramatically if snow begins falling Tuesday morning on the South Side and southern suburbs.