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July 28, 2014, 8:23 am

Voters come out in force

In an effort to spur people to vote, school children rallied Tuesday afternoon at the corner of Broad and Lombard streets with handmade signs.

The children rallied near the polling place located at Philadelphia Department of Public Health Health Center No. 1 at 500 South Broad St., where voters were steadily streaming in.

“It’s just been a nice, heavy turnout. It’s been pretty steady,” said Jim Campbell, judge of elections.

When they opened the polls at 7 a.m. Tuesday morning, Campbell said the line of voters stretched halfway around the block.

Campbell noted that the traffic of voters slacked off during the lunchtime hour. By 1 p.m., 249 voters had turned out.

For Evelyn James, the excitement of having the opportunity to vote for President Barack Obama kicked in when she visited the polls at the Universal Institute Charter School at 1427 Catherine St.. James was one of the few voters who visited the polling place just before 5 p.m.

“I didn’t feel it all day until I was getting ready to go in there to actually vote,” James says of the excitement she felt in voting for Obama.

“I feel that this is the time that we have to really make our mark - right now, because if we don’t - we’re going to be left in the cold.”

Tyrone Lyles decided to vote for Obama for a various reasons. Lyles wasn’t impressed with Milt Romney because he wasn’t forthcoming about his plan for the country.

“I just think that Obama is the right man for the job. He’s been there for four years trying to straighten out some things,” said Lyles.

“I believe some clergymen are not doing a good job in promoting him because of the decision that he made with same sex-marriages, but that is between God and him. I think the church should stay within the church, but telling people not to vote because of one judgment call is not the right thing to do.”

Marcia Wilkof, Democratic ward leader, 30th Ward, was impressed by the turnout that she saw at the United House of Prayer for All People Saints Paradise II Building cafeteria in South Philadelphia.

“The turnout is fabulous,” said Wilkof.

“I’m very pleased with the turnout. It’s very heartening.”

She was also heartened by early reports that voter turnout would be as strong as it was in 2008.

As of 1:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, about 258 voters had turned out at the polls, located at 16th and Fitzwater Streets.

“It’s been busy all day. They’re straggling in,” said Marshia Myers, judge of elections.

She anticipated that larger numbers of voters would show up during the early evening hours.