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updated: 11/5/2012 12:50 PM

Jobs and voter turnout are focus of candidates

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Associated Press

Candidates in Illinois' closely-watched U.S. House races are mainly focused on jobs and voter turnout on the day before the election.

Republican Congressmen Bobby Schilling rallied around workers Monday with his "Bobs for Jobs" tour in west-central Illinois. His Democratic opponent Cheri Bustos planned to meet with workers on the verge of losing their jobs in Freeport.

Around Chicago, jobs were a main talking point for Republican Congressman Bob Dold as he hosted a town hall meeting with manufacturing workers. His Democratic challenger, Brad Schneider, says jobs were a top concern as he crisscrossed the district.

There's also been some last-minute mud-slinging.

Tea party Congressman Joe Walsh claims the campaign of his Democratic opponent Tammy Duckworth has been intimidating voters. Duckworth says robocalls in support of Walsh have been vicious.

Chicago-area election officials meanwhile, say they expect voter turnout for Tuesday's election to be heavy -- if not as heavy as four years ago.

Chicago Board of Elections Chairman Langdon Neal told reporters on Monday that he expects final turn-out to be strong.

But Neal doesn't think it'll reach or exceed the 74 percent turnout of 2008. Enthusiasm was especially pronounced that year when Chicagoan Barack Obama was on the presidential ballot for the first time.

Cook County Clerk David Orr says he thinks final voter turnout figures from suburban communities should be 70 percent or higher.

But he doubted the figure will surpass the record set for Cook County suburbs in 1992. Nearly 76 percent of registered voters cast ballots that year, when Democrat Bill Clinton won the presidency.

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