Vol. V

The Ides of March: A Street Journalist Tale

The Illinois Primary

Yesterday was the IL primary. I knew the coverage would be spread out, but I didnt think it I would be able to cover as much ground as I did. But with the help of a colleage of mine, I was able to cover precincts in downtown Chicago, the South suburbs and North suburbs.

Inside precinct 13 & 21 located at Jones College Prep in downtown Chicago. (Photo/ Nick Garcia)

Inside the first precincts the operation went somewhat smooth. A few of the precinct judges were having trouble working the new tech, but otherwise the process went smoothly. In terms of turn out at 9am event coordinator Ray Dell provided some good information.

“So far turn out has been 2 to 1,” Dell said.

After holding down the fort for a little over an hour I was able to conduct a few interviews with some local voter’s before hitting the road to the South suburbs.

Nicholas Davis, 38 said he was voting for former Secretary of State Hillary Cliton.

“I think shes got by far the most credentials and experience.”

Another voter standing near by, Jennifer Wolan, 21 said she was submitting her vote for U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders-D (VT).

“He’s really passionate and for the middle class.”

I was able to stope at a large sports complex in Orland Park that was home to precincts 16, 18, 20, 29, 39 and 75. After speaking with a few coordinators, each precinct had recorded over 100 voters so far bringing the total for that one location to roughly 700 voters.

Wearing a rugged blue Chicago Cubs shirt, Cameron Galgano, 20, said he was voting for business man Donald Trump.

“American doesn’t need a politician anymore. I personally like Mr. Trump and I like what he stands for.”

Fellow Trump voter Dave Gust, 51, also voted for Donald Trump. Gust, short on words simply said, “I think he just has the best shot at winning the Republican nomination.”

After leaving Orland Park for New Lenox and Frankfort, what followed was a string of precinct recordings in tweet form that documented the travels all the way up to Rolling Meadows, IL.

With a handful of interviews, a collection of precinct voter turnout numbers and a belly full of chicken shawarma I was able to round out the day tweeting with Chicago newspaper columnist John Kass as he too winded down his day.

The take from the day was political reporting is tough. It kept me on my toes, it forced me out of my element and to really figure out what was the best medium to tell a good story. As I ended the day on the train home I got one final notification about Sen. Marco Rubio dropping out of the race after his double digit loss to Trump in his home state of florida. I thought, if only you had backed Ted Cruz sooner Marco, if only.