Long Waits at Some Precincts, New Polling Place Confusion on Election Day Morning

By Mike Fourcher | Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The polling place at Engine 110 fire station on Foster and Clarendon Aves. was one of the few places with a line by mid-morning today. Credit: Mike Fourcher

Voters and election judges reported few problems in polling places across Northcenter and Lincoln Square, although a few polling places had waits over an hour this morning and some voters were confused by polling place changes due to redistricting.

While many polling places had long early-morning waits, turnout was moderate for the half dozen polling places we visited today. As always, there was an exception to the rule, as the mid-morning wait at the polling place at the Department of Aging facility on Damen and Lawrence Aves. had an hour-twenty minute wait, as of 9:20 a.m. today, according to one voter.

But for the most part, most voters reported 15-30 minute waits at even the busiest polling places. One voter at the Philadelphia Romanian Church this morning reported confusion among judges about how votes should be validated, creating confusion among voters and election judges alike.

However, by mid-morning few polling places reported any significant wait.

Because of redistricting and new Chicago Ward maps, many voters saw their regular polling places change. Making matters worse, the Chicago Board of Elections website has been down since Monday and the main Board of Elections phone number is often busy, forcing voters to find other places to check.

Chicago’s Chief Technology Officer John Tolva has been urging voters to check Google’s polling place look-up service. Voters can also call a special polling place finding hotline, (312) 269-1604. The Board of Elections information technology is managed separately from other city services, and is not under Tolva’s oversight.





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