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Polling Place Confusion, Moderate Turnout Kicks-off Election Day

By Mike Fourcher | Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Mike, a 44th Ward Democrats precinct worker, passed out palm cards to voters at Addison St. and Magnolia Ave. this morning. Credit: Mike Fourcher

Voters and election judges at polling places in Roscoe Village and West Lakeview reported few significant problems as Election Day kicked off today, but a few had problems finding their new polling place.

During the morning commuter rush, neighborhood voters sometimes reported lines of 30-40 minutes at polling places in Roscoe Village. In addition, election judges at polling places we visited reported some confusion among voters about changing polling place locations, which may have added to wait times.

By mid-morning there was little to no wait at the half-dozen polling places we visited.

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.

John Tolva, the Chicago Chief Technology Officer, and a Roscoe Village resident, 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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