Election officials watching polling locations closely

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CHICAGO -- Election officials are keeping a close eye on the polling places to make sure there are as few problems as possible for voters.

The Chicago and Cook County Board of Elections report some minor issues but no signs of fraud.

In Logan Square's Darwin Elementary School, the technology trouble started early.

"When I walked in this morning, they were looking for a power cord. There was a malfunction or it didn't fit,” said Dan Postelthwait.

The electronic voting machines were down in the first hour. Thanks to a school administrator, the democratic process got back on track.

"We went in our computer lab, and I was able to find the cord they needed,” Postelthwait said.

But that has not been the only trouble. The polling place has been the source of calls to the Board of Elections and posts on the Board's special Election Day Reddit- a social media site set up to report irregularities.

Some using paper ballots did not receive a second page, which allows a vote on the Safe Roads Amendment.

Gilbert Washington, who voted at Lionel Hampton Elementary in Ashburn, noticed the same thing.

"I flipped it over, I go over everything, I can't find it. I asked the lady, and she said she saw it on her ballot when early voting. She said to call the election commission,” he said.

Washington called the Chicago Board of Elections four times, but he got no answer.

Other voters reported the same issue on Reddit. A number of voters at River North's Assumption Catholic Church didn't get the page. Neither did several at Brentano School, a polling place in the 2700 block of North Fairfield. The same thing happened at Truman College and in the South Loop, voters reported online.

At a polling location in the 3500 block of West Fullerton, one voter who did receive the ballot measure reported that a judge suggested how most voters have voted on it.

According to Washington, almost 30 people voting at Lionel Hampton Elementary were not given the page.

"If 20 people don't vote on it in 20 precincts, it affects it,” he said.

He returned to the school and a judge allowed him to re-enter and cast his Safe Roads Amendment vote. Others reporting the problem online were told that returning is not allowed.

A spokesman for the Chicago Board of Elections told WGN that some election judges did not take all ballots out of cabinets this morning, causing the error. If voters or judges did not realize the mistake prior to voters leaving the polling place, they were not allowed to return. It is unknown how many voters have been impacted.

At Armour Square Park, voting machines that typically arrive the evening prior to Election Day were not delivered until 6:30 a.m. Tuesday. Those arriving in the first hour of voting had to wait.

In suburban Cook County, issues were reported to be few.

"We have had the typical issues that come up every election, no matter city or county. We had a few election judges who didn't show up, but we have incredible election judges who did and got back on track,” said Nick Shields of Cook County Board of Elections.


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