Mick Dumke reports from the southeast side of town:

Twenty-year-old Colin Agunobi admits that the recent economic tumult hasn’t affected him personally: “I’m still pretty young, I don’t have to pay taxes or bills, really. But my mom does.” Still, Colin and his friend Kameron Robinson think it’s clear the country needs completely different leadership on the economy. And they weren’t going to miss the chance to vote for what could be the first African-American U.S. president. “It’s my first time being able to vote, and I had to vote for him,” Agunobi said outside his polling place on the 9200 block of south Jeffery. “Everybody’s voting. If they’re not, they can’t.” But Robinson cautioned against unrealistic expectations. “Bush messed things up so bad it’s going to take more than one term to fix them.”

A few miles to the east, South Chicago resident Katina Williams, 29, reiterated the call for a new national direction. “We need someone who supports us poor people,” she said as she headed into a corner store at 89th and Commercial. But it didn’t matter to her that Obama could break barriers: “I don’t care what color he is as long as he does something,” she said.

Turnout here was high, as it appears to be everywhere. The local precinct captain, Jason Huerta, said 268 of 520 registered voters had cast ballots by noon; in some elections, 200 don’t show up all day. “I haven’t seen some of these people in years,” he said.