By Anna Lothson
Voting early is becoming increasingly popular nationally and in Oak Park the choice is trending.
As of 5 p.m. Friday, the number of early voters hit 809, with one day left for people to cast early ballots. In 2009, Oak Park only had 392 voters. Friday's numbers haven't hit the 2011 mark of 1,091, but voters still have Saturday to pick the numbers up. If this year's day-by-day vote trend continues, this year's number will set a new mark.
On the first day of voting at Oak Park Village Hall, 27 ballots were cast. That number steadily rose the next six available days and hit a spike April 3 when the count hit 101 in a day. April 4 brought in 119 and Friday, April 5 brought in 156.
Oak Park and River Forest candidates for president, trustees and clerk are expected to be seen campaigning around town with signs, meeting with voters and local hangouts and handing out literature for their final get-out-the-vote efforts.
Here's what a few of them said earlier this week about what they'll be doing:
John Hedges (Oak Park Village President): "I'll be precinct walking. We'll be at the L stops. At some after-school pick up things ... This weekend we'll be back out there (in the community)."
Anan Abu-Taleb (Oak Park Village President): "We're knocking on people's doors and having opportunities to meet face-to-face with people."
Mike Gibbs (River Forest Village President): "I'm still trying to get our message out. I'm going door-to-door (every day), and meeting face-to-face with voters. I don't like to just leave stuff. I want to meet people."
Cathy Adduci (River Forest Village President): "I'll being doing more coffees, getting out there – taking to people, knocking on doors. That's been very fulfilling."
Voters in suburban Cook County don't have to vote in their towns during early voting periods so the votes cast on the touch-screen machines don't necessarily mean they are for Oak Park races. Check back to OakPark.com Monday for more on early voting results.