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Election Day 2000: Lake Forest, Illinois Voters Discuss High Turnout

Aired November 7, 2000 - 1:09 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: And both sides acknowledge that turnout is vital to their aspirations so we've sent reporters to polling places around this nation to see how things are going today.

CNN's Jeff Flock, for instance, is spending the day at a precinct in Lake Forest, Illinois, just outside Chicago.

Jeff, what's happening?

JEFF FLOCK, CNN CHICAGO BUREAU CHIEF: Those get-out-the-vote efforts seem to be working, Lou. We can report here in Lake Forest Illinois, which is a suburb north of Chicago, that they have had a record number of requests for absentee ballots. And on top of that, tremendous turnout today.

Anecdotally, here at this precinct I just want to ask. They've got a momentarily lull.

Describe turnout for me today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fantastic. We're already at 278 and we have seven hours to go.

FLOCK: Wow. How does that compare to anything you've ever seen before?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is much better than anything we've seen before.

FLOCK: And what do you attribute that to?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because of the interest in the presidential race, the congressional race and the state senate race.

FLOCK: I copy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the legislative.

FLOCK: Right, the legislative race, too. Thank you so much.

Yes, it's not only the presidential race here, it's also a very important 10th Congressional race that is also up for grabs. A good reason -- one of the reasons, in addition to all of the interest -- that things are going well in terms of turnout is the weather. Take a look outside. It could have been a lot worse. Heavy rains overnight, but that's cleared off. It's a good day and this place has been packed all day.

I want some perspective on it from Lake Forest College, a professor of politics who has been following these things.

When was the last time we saw this kind of intensity in a presidential race?

PROF. JONATHAN GALLOWAY, LAKE FOREST COLLEGE: In 1960 with Kennedy and Nixon it was very, very close.

FLOCK: How does this compare?

GALLOWAY: I think that this will not be as close, one vote per precinct in Illinois, but it's going to be awfully close.

FLOCK: That's right, there's the old history of digging up some votes from God knows where they got them back in 1960.

GALLOWAY: Right. There was always the question whether the election was stolen or not.

FLOCK: Good deal. Professor, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

I want to try just one voter here.

I know -- may I ask how you voted?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I voted for Gore.

FLOCK: Now, that's uncommon here. We should point out to our viewers this is Lake Forest, which is one of the wealthiest communities in the nation and also pretty heavily Bush.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, unfortunately. I was thrilled and excited to place my vote today. I care very deeply about this election.

FLOCK: There's a real intensity out there, isn't there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There sure is. Well, because also for the state races. Susan Garrett is a state rep and she's Democratic and that's unusual.

FLOCK: So there's interest beyond the presidential race.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely.

FLOCK: Thank you, ma'am. Appreciate it very much.

That is the latest from here. Before we get away, I tell you, a tradition here in Lake Forest is the bake sale that's part of this, and they are almost out of baked goods already because there's been such tremendous turnout here.

We'll of course continue to watch it. A long way to go.

I'm Jeff Flock, CNN, reporting live from Lake Forest, Illinois.

Lou, back to you.

WATERS: OK, take it easy on the danish there, Jeff.

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