20-year veteran Morton Grove election judge wary of voter apathy
Updated: March 29, 2012 3:50PM
Milton Langer has found many ways to keep busy.
The Morton Grove resident, who recently turned 82 years old, has been serving as an election judge for the past 20 years — a feat for which he was selected as one of the best suburban election judges by Cook County Clerk David Orr.
In addition to his election duties Langer is a member of the Morton Grove Historical Society and the Friends of the Forest Preserves.
“When we take school groups out to the prairie, I teach them about the rocks and the fossils,” he said.
His knowledge on the subjects comes from years serving as an exploration geologist for Chevron Oil in Oklahoma and as a geology teacher with the City Colleges of Chicago.
“I started at Wilbur Wright College and retired from Daley College,” he said.
As part of the City Colleges of Chicago system, Langer taught in Germany during the 1988-89 school year.
“I made a lot of friends, and traveled to Romania and Hungary,” Langer said.
His curiosity with the election process goes way back.
“I’ve always been interested in history and politics,” he said. “Being an election judge is a good way to meet neighbors if you get to be one in your precinct.”
Langer had a taste of the election process, serving as a one-term member of the East Maine School District 63 Board of Education.
“Voting is vital,” he said. “Serving as an election judge is an extension of one’s civic duty. Barely 25 percent of registered voters will vote in any primary. Before the 2008 presidential election, lines formed before the polling place even opened.”
And while many may feel helpless the primary election is more important than the general election in that it determines the candidates for the November contest, he asserted.
“There are so many uncontested races,” he said. “It’s a terrible situation. Especially now, people really need to take more of an interest.”