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Photo ID Needed To Attend Obama Rally

But not to vote.

From the Chicago Tribune:

With the Field Museum in the background, preparations for Tuesday’s Barack Obama Election Night rally continue Thursday at the south end of Grant Park in Chicago.

Your guide to the Obama Grant Park rally

By James Janega

November 3, 2008

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama returns home Tuesday for an Election Night rally in Grant Park that has sparked huge civic interest and many questions about how the event will work.

Q. Does the city want huge numbers of people coming downtown on Election Night or not?

A. On Friday, Police Supt. Jody Weis said that “we can’t have mischief.” Officials aren’t discouraging people from coming downtown, but they are encouraging them to look for places in their neighborhoods to watch on TV. On Saturday, Mayor Richard Daley was rolling out the welcome mat again. “Only the private event is ticket. You can be in the park and around it. The mayor’s not going to tell anybody not to come to this celebration,” Daley said. “It’s a historic event. If they want to be there, they should.”

Q. When will people arrive at Grant Park on Tuesday?

A. It’s anyone’s guess. The gates at the rally site don’t open until 8:30 p.m., but crowds are likely to form many hours before that. A Loop business group urged offices to send workers home at 3 p.m. to avoid the growing crowds.

Q. How many people will show up?

A. Daley estimated 1 million, a number he said was a guess. The campaign’s permit said there would be 65,000 ticketed guests and 7,500 “participants” at the official fenced area. But interest is high and the weather is expected to be excellent, so expect quite a throng outside the official rally site.

Q. Where will people congregate outside the official area?

A. Presumably, in the rest of Grant Park. But the city has not officially designated areas for the overflow crowd and has not ruled out turning people away if the park seems too crowded.

Q. What time will Obama give his victory or concession speech?

A. Probably not before the polls close in California at 10 p.m. Chicago time. Perhaps hours later.

Q. What happens if the election outcome is in doubt late into the night?

A. The permit application said “amplified sound” was planned until 1 a.m. Officials were mum on whether they would allow the crowd to wait past that hour. At this point, Metra is scheduled to end service at 1 a.m., and the CTA will run “until everyone has gotten home.”

Q. What will security be like downtown?

A. Heavy. The Chicago Police Department has canceled days off for all officers, and Chicago firefighters have been asked to have their personal equipment with them at home. Even the U.S. Coast Guard will patrol in Burnham Harbor and on Lake Michigan.

Q. When will people who applied for tickets find out whether they got them? And when will those tickets arrive by e-mail?

A. The campaign has said they will arrive by e-mail on Monday. Recipients were told Sunday to expect delivery of their tickets–each one valid for the recipient and one guest–by e-mail between 6 and 7 p.m. Monday.

Q. Will there be extra public transportation?

A. The Chicago Transit Authority will use longer trains, additional bus service and expanded hours to accommodate the thousands expected to attend the Obama campaign’s Election Day rally in Grant Park on Tuesday. Four train lines (Brown, Pink, Green and Orange) and eight bus routes (#3, #4, #6, #12, #14, #126, #146, #147) will continue operating in the Loop until 2 a.m., the agency said. Rush hour service will start early to handle those who leave work early. Due to planned street closures downtown, the agency is warning commuters to leave themselves extra time Tuesday. Bicycles will not be allowed on trains from 4 p.m. Tuesday to 4 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Q. If I have a ticket, do I need a photo ID?

A. Yes. Your guest should bring one too, even though the directions from the obama campaign aren’t clear on the matter yet.

Q. Do I need a photo ID if I don’t have a ticket and am not a guest heading for the ticketed portion of the rally?

A. The city hasn’t required anyone outside the ticketed area to have a photo ID, and so far has said restrictions on bags, folding chairs and other items are “recommended,” but not required.

Q. Can rally attendees bring a sign or banner?

A. Not in the fenced area. Also banned inside the main area are bags, chairs and strollers.

Q. Will there be concession stands?

A. Pizza and hot dogs will be sold in the secure area. Alcohol will not. The organizers’ permit application said vendors would sell hot chocolate—a beverage chosen when no one could anticipate the 64-degree forecast at the rally’s start.

Q. What’s the weather report for Election night?

A. Here’s the latest on what you can expect from WGN-TV’s Tom Skilling.

Q. What happens if he loses?

A. If it’s clear he has lost, he’ll give his concession speech at the rally.

Q. Since I’m not a fan of Obama, I would like to know who is paying for all of this.

A. The Obama campaign has said it will foot the bill, except for Secret Service expenses.

Q. Will there be enough portable toilets on-site to accommodate the expected crowd? If so, is Obama’s campaign paying for them?

A. The event organizers’ permit application said there would be more than 265 portable toilets at the rally. The city has not said how many more it will provide in the rest of Grant Park. Obama’s campaign has pledged to pay for rally expenses.

Q. I use a scooter to get around due to a disability. Will my scooter be allowed into the ticketed part of the rally?

A. Access for the disabled to such events is guaranteed by law.

Q. Will there be accommodations for the handicapped at the rally–seating, restrooms, etc?

A. Note answers to previous two questions. Further specifics may be announced today.

Meanwhile, do you need a photo ID — or indeed any kind of identification to vote in Illinois?

Of course not.

From the Chicago Daily Herald:

Froehlich zinged by GOP Rejection Thursday at the Capitol

Thu, 05/15/2008

An Illinois House committee rejected the idea of requiring Illinois voters show an official ID in order to cast a ballot. The proposal was modeled after the Indiana law recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

State Rep. Tim Schmitz, a Batavia Republican, supported the ID requirement, noting people have to show ID to get into the Capitol, fly and do numerous daily activities. He also said there’s an easy alternative, vote absentee.

Critics of the idea said there are fraud possibilities with absentee voting too.

Isn’t irony ironic?

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, November 3rd, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Photo ID Needed To Attend Obama Rally”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    By God….Lets keep the riff raff out and in the streets causing Urban Renewal!!
    If he loses will there be one white tent left unscortched?

  2. curvyred says:


  3. nuthingbettertodo says:

    So a million + people in Grant park on an unusually warm Chicago night rioting in the streets after he loses won’t look good for the 2016 Olympic nod.

  4. JohnMG says:

    The way I’ve got it figured, either way, Mayor Daley’s town will burn.

    What a sewer, but then again, “as ye sow, so also shall ye reap”.

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