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Election day experiences *** UPDATED X2 ***

Tuesday, Feb 5, 2008

[Bumped up for greater visibility.]

Post your election day observations below. How many were at your polling place? How many have voted so far? What was the weather? How many poll-watchers, flier-mongers were present? Any problems? Any goons? Etc.

Give us as much detail as possible, please.

*** UPDATE 1 *** There have been a lot of comments here about demands from Chicago election judges that voters produce an ID. I just called the Chicago Board of Elections and they said they didn’t know why this has been the case. You don’t have to show an ID to vote in Illinois on election day (early voting is different). I’ve been in contact with the attorney general’s office about this and I’ll update in a bit.

*** UPDATE 2 *** The attorney general’s office just called back to say they’ve dispatched some teams around the city to check out complaints of voters being indiscriminately asked for ID’s. There are some instance where election judges can ask for an ID, but if voters believe that the law is not being followed they should contact the AG’s hotline numbers. Chicago area voters call 1.866.536.3496 and downstaters can call 1.866.559.6812

- Posted by Rich Miller        

107 Comments
  1. - Matt G - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 10:34 am:

    I live in Chicago’s 2nd Ward (1st precinct). I voted at 7:30 am and was the 87th person to vote. In 2006, I voted about the same time and was the 12th person to vote.

    The line was getting longer by the time I left.


  2. - Rob_N - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 10:37 am:

    Haven’t voted yet but the polling place next to my office has had a packed parking lot all morning — moreso than the 2006 general as I recall. There are usually 3 or 4 precincts voting there.

    Tons of yard signs up in front of the building (it’s also facing a main drag).

    The Tribbies also have a comment thread going on people’s voting experiences. Lots of folks seem to be being asked for ID. You don’t need an ID to vote, your signature just has to match the sig on record.


  3. - cermak_rd - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 10:38 am:

    business was brisk in the first ward 5th precinct in Berwyn. A queue had formed for the first line and most people were choosing the electronic voting machines (we got to choose which we wanted).

    The surprising thing is there were no canvassers. Usually there are at least 2 groups.


  4. - Deep South - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 10:40 am:

    Heavy rain in the deep south this morning. I was in and out in about 5 minutes, no waiting. However, all booths were full as I left.


  5. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 10:41 am:

    #21 at 7am at my polling place in the 47th Ward. Stunned to see a McCain sign near the polling place. No weather problems other than wet pavement and standing puddles.


  6. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 10:42 am:

    In Streeterville (42nd Ward), we voted around 7:00. I was number 15, and there was a bit of a line after me. They only had one touch-screen machine (which I used and liked). My wife used the long form and of course it took her much longer to vote. One poll watcher was there, one person outside passing lit [the person was down to one side and made no effort to approach us], and nearly no signs around the area today.
    Unfortunately, due to other obligations, my involvement in the process will be extremely limited today, which is unfortunate.


  7. Pingback Open Primary Day Thread « Illinois Reason - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 10:44 am:

    […] CapFax’s primary day thread […]


  8. - jeff - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 10:44 am:

    Voted in the 48th ward in Chicago. Light turnout at 7:20 no waiting 37th voter. The woman in front of me and I both had to show ID to the judge as our signatures were different from what was on file. My signature has changed a bit over 10 years. Not sure what the judge would have done without the id as he was confused.


  9. - Garp - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 10:49 am:

    A lady at the polling place said she received too canned phone messeges from Mayor Daley for Delatany. Is that happening?


  10. - cermak_rd - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 10:52 am:

    I was asked for my voter registration card (?) I don’t happen to carry it, so showed state of IL ID card and that seemed to suffice as they then let me sign and indicate party.


  11. - HP - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 10:55 am:

    Joe Moreno’s troops are deep in the 26th and 1st wards with Delgado’s people nowhere to be seen.


  12. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 11:03 am:

    Four Lake Forest precincts in one school including mine (temporarily moved due to construction at the old site). Turn out was slow but steady.

    Only contested races are for U.S. President for Dems and GOP and the Seals/Footlik Congressional on the Democrat side.

    We are also voting for our city aldermen today. All are running uncontested races.


  13. - Anon - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 11:14 am:

    One ward organization palm carder (49). Judge was asking everyone for photo ID (including non motor voter registrants), as if we were in Indiana. I know Bush stacked the supreme court, but let’s not become THAT red a state.


  14. - Niles Township - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 11:22 am:

    Surprisingly light turn out by 6:45 a.m. at the Niles Township precinct I vote in. Same with another precinct that votes in the same location. I even made it a point to get to the polling place 15 minutes earlier than I normally do anticpating lines. There were none. Maybe it got better later.


  15. - KIZ - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 11:24 am:

    I live in Chicago’s 44th ward. I walked into my polling place around 7:55 this morning and there was only one person ahead of me and no line behind me. There were virtually no volunteers handing out literature outside, except for one guy who was handing out palm cards for a judicial candidate. Both the emptiness of the polling place and the lack of campaign workers handing out literature surprised me. The polling place is one block from the train station, you’d think the campaign workers would be out in force during rush hour.


  16. - Bill S. Preston, Esq. - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 11:26 am:

    I woke up at 6 and walked over to my voting place only to be told that the election team for my precinct (32nd Ward, 2nd Precinct) didn’t show up. I was told to “come back later.” 4 precincts voting in that location (the other 3 are 1st Ward), and things were not only completely disorganized but also busy. At 6:15am.

    I went back at 7:15 and was able to vote. Still disorganized, even more crowded. Ald. Flores and others were out front handing out Moreno palm cards.

    The whole experience was kind of a mess.


  17. - Bill S. Preston, Esq. - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 11:29 am:

    Anon- I was asked to show a photo ID too. First time that’s ever happened to me.


  18. - taxmandan - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 11:31 am:

    I was also asked for ID, before I even signed the card. I’ve never been asked for ID before. I voted in Downers Grove at 8am and turnout was pretty steady at that time.


  19. - Bluefish - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 11:32 am:

    Heavy turnout for a primary out in my suburban polling place. By 7:30, the count was in the 70s (usually still in the teens at that time).

    A note about the 14th Congressional district special primary: Only a handful of that 70+ people who voted in the regular had voted in the special primary. Part of the problem was that when you received your regular ballot they made no mention of the extra race. After voting the regular, you needed to go to a different table to get the special ballot and vote again. Less than 10% were actually doing this. My guess is any candidate who pushed to inform their supporters of this goofy system will have a huge leg up in this. Could we see one set of candidates win for the November election and another for the March special election?


  20. - Downers Delight - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 11:34 am:

    I was the 6th person in line just before 6am at Downers Grove South High School. The five people before me all took Democratic ballots, as the Republican tray for voter slips was empty as I passed it. When I left about 6:10, there were around 20 people that that had voted, were voting or were still waiting in line to vote.

    At my polling place, a lady had her maiden name on the voter roll, but her married name on her ID. I don’t know how that turned out, but the judges were working on it.


  21. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 11:35 am:

    What’s up with all these ID checks?


  22. - DE - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 11:36 am:

    At 7:15 am Palatine Dist 211 polling place I was one of two voters. I was the 12th person to vote. Four judges were present. When I arrived I thought I had come the wrong day or the polling place had moved. I’ve never seen fewer voters.


  23. - Lawrence County Democrat - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 11:37 am:

    Democratic voters were given the wrong ballot at at least one polling place in Lawrence County. They were given federal-only ballots when they were entitled to full-slate ballots that include local races. The County Clerk has acknowledged the problem. Later it was determined that the polling place simply had no full-slate ballots on hand. The problem has since been corrected, with the Clerk’s Office rushing the proper ballots to the polling place. However, according to the State Board of Elections, voters who were wrongly given federal-only ballots and thus were deprived of the right to vote for local candidates are afforded NO REMEDY under Illinois election law. This needs to be changed. People need to be given the chance to go back and re-vote when they are given the wrong ballot.


  24. - Todd - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 11:43 am:

    kendall county:

    400 voters 85 had voted, huge R few Ds. of the 85 77 had voted in the special

    the other precint was running about the same or ahead. Looking at 25% tunrout already

    Todd


  25. - capitol view - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 11:46 am:

    I live on the SW side of Springpatch - pretty much Republican neihborhood. Which meant that it was a very quiet polling area at 8:30 this morning.


  26. - interested party - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 11:46 am:

    Aurora 6th ward has some misprinted ballots with names left off in uncontested democratic primaries as of 8:30 this morning.


  27. - alex - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 11:53 am:

    I voted in Northern Lake County around 10:30,I was number 186 in a polling place with four –heavily Republican — precincts. Steady turnout, but no lines.
    It was good to see quite a few young people working as election judges.
    I noticed there were a lot fewer political signs and there were no “decorated” cars in the polling place parking lot.


  28. - Sacks Romana - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 11:55 am:

    City: Chicago
    Ward: 35
    Precinct: 28

    I went to go vote at about 7:15 AM. I could see a couple people inside at tables, but the polling place was locked. There were two guys just standing around right outside the entrance.

    I asked one of them where the entrance to the polling place was, and he replied that the machines for this precinct had been shipped somewhere else, and hadn’t arrive yet. This is 75 minutes after polls opened! He told me that I could cast a provisional ballot at another precinct (WHICH IS FALSE), or come back later. THE GUY WAS NOT AN ELECTION JUDGE.

    I left because I had to get to work. I didn’t say anything to the goons outside, but I was furious at the disinformation that they had tried to give me. I called the Chicago Board of Elections as soon as I got into work. They had had one other complaint at 6:20am, but no one had followed up.

    The agent at the CBoE was very knowledgeable and nice and called me back to let me know when the machines were up and running (about ten minutes after I called, now a little after 8am). The election judges at the site, in addition to the goons, were also telling people they could cast a provisional ballot at another precinct (AGAIN, NOT TRUE), and she had to “correct” them.

    I’m still pretty upest by it. I’m going to have an opportunity to go again after work, but I have to imagine there’s a lot of people in my precinct whose only opportunity to vote was sometime between 6am-8am.

    I’m not making any accusations, and I have no evidence of anything, but if anyone were to benefit from this particular situation, it would be Richard Bradley over Iris Martinez.


  29. - Huh? - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 11:55 am:

    I was third to vote. No watchers. In and out in just a few minutes.


  30. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 11:58 am:

    One note on the touch-screen machines: For mine, it seemed that the vote for Danny K. Davis (Congress) had been pressed before I touched anything. The guy is not really in a contested race, but it seemed odd.
    I made sure to check everything twice before hitting the submit button.


  31. - thomas paine - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 12:05 pm:

    Was asked for an I.D as well in the 11th Ward, I refused and after a short argument I recieved a ballot. It just seemed like the judges were nervous and new. Obama topped the palm card I recieved with lots of judges!!


  32. - Poli-Sci Geek - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 12:22 pm:

    At standard 70 to 80 pct R precinct in Champaign, 40 min wait to vote this am. Shocking number of dem ballots being requested.


  33. - jerry 101 - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 12:22 pm:

    From my post at PSB:
    At about 7:15 am, I was voter number 35, which is higher than the last (runoff) election, and a little higher than the general muni elections, and about the same as last November’s election.

    There were, I think, 4 other people voting when I inserted my ballot into the machine, and there was one person getting his ballot, and another couple came in as I left. So, that would put things at 42 just after I left.

    One complaint, they had different poll workers this time around. There was a younger white guy who seemed a little too eager to help a couple of people load their ballots into the machine. He was young, so it may be inexperience, and I didn’t notice anything truly suspicious beyond his general exuberance.

    Ok, so two complaints, and this is the bigger one. They reconfigured the setup of the voting booths. They were MUCH less private than in the past. They had 5 booths set up in the middle of the room, with the opening set to the outside. In the past, they lined up all five by the wall, with the opening facing the wall. Someone could easily look over your shoulder and see how you’re voting.

    Alright, one final complaint. They didn’t have the ballot protection slips (the folders you put your ballot in when you finish voting and are walking over to the machine.

    I will also note that I voted in the 32nd ward, Club Lucky precinct.
    There was one poll worker outside, standing around. He didn’t do or say anything to me or anyone else who walked by. No palm cards in hand or anything. Not sure what he was doing.

    There were probably 2 poll watchers inside, neither were paying much attention, although one of them may not have been a watcher. He may have been a judge trying to get the touchscreen to work.

    The arrangement of the privacy things was appalling. Waaaaay too open.

    Also, the judge was NOT checking ID’s, so at least that went correctly. I just told her my name, and she had me sign the paper and check the party box.


  34. - Matlock - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 12:23 pm:

    Voted in the 19th ward, only one person was outside and he was for Suffredin, very strange considering Milan is from the ward and Allen is endorsed by 19. I was about the 100th person at 9:30 am.


  35. - Bob Dylan - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 12:24 pm:

    I was asked for “picture ID” and inquired if that was the law with the worker - I didn’t think so. Was told it was the law and that all workers there were given that instruction during their training as poll workers.


  36. - so-called "Austin Mayor" - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 12:29 pm:

    Rich,

    There are multiple credible reports of judges demanding that voters show ID out in DuPage County too.

    If the A.G., taxmandan, Downers Delight or any other concerned citizen wants to ask the DuPage Election Commission to remind their judges that voters don’t have to show ID to cast a ballot in the Land of Lincoln, the number is (630) 407-5600 — then press zero to talk to an honest-to-goodness human being.

    – SCAM


  37. - Don't Worry, Be Happy - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 12:34 pm:

    Rich:

    I believe that there two instances where you need to show an ID. If someone is voting for the first time after registering by mail then they are required to show an ID. The other is if you’ve been removed from the voter roll, you need to prove that you still live at that address.

    Sounds like some of the election judges are just ID’ing everyone.


  38. - montrose - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 12:38 pm:

    Ward: 47
    Precinct: 11

    Went at about 7:30 this morning. The standard set up of Shulter’s men handing out cards and signs for all his candidates everywhere. The only exception is that Susan Elder got a few signs squeezed in.

    The turnout at that point was light. No line. The stack of Republican ballots looked awfully lonely. I saw lots of folks using Schulter’s cheat sheet in the booth.

    Everything was moving smoothly and no one was asked to show ID.

    My wife and I took our standard photo of our son holding our “I voted” tickets. Vote early, vote often!


  39. - Crockett - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 12:40 pm:

    Voted in Northbrook a little before 6:30 this morning. Was number 14 and had the polling place entirely to myself, other than the 4 workers. Chose the paper ballot. Saw 3 signs perched on top of a big mound of snow- one each for Kirk, Seals, and someone named Hyman or something like that. In and out in less than 5 minutes.


  40. - Stosh - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 12:49 pm:

    The line outside the bakery for paczki today was way bigger than the one at my polling place. You want more voters, make the bakery a polling place.


  41. - Jake From Elwood - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 12:56 pm:

    I was initially given ballots for the wrong party-which I caught as soon as I looked at them.
    I have already heard about serious errors with the Kane County Elections system again this year–incorrect ballot forms and failure to place referendum questions on all precincts. Smiling Jack Cunningham has failed his constitutents again.


  42. - been there - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 12:58 pm:

    I voted three weeks ago in Chicago at the Chinatown library. Very civilized.

    Today many signs were stuck in the snow on the way to my second ward, fifth-district polling place, wanting us to vote for Dunkin for third-ward committeeman and for Kenny Johnson or Paul Chada, who’re running in the 26th district.


  43. - Justice - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 12:59 pm:

    There are over 350 registered voters in my precinct. As of 10:30am only 37 had voted. As I recall, recently in the SJR in Springfield, there was an article about someone using their right to vote by not voting… in protest. I can only imagine that many people are following that fellows lead by not voting and thus voting through protest.


  44. - ChicagoKen - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 1:04 pm:

    I voted around 9 AM and there was a steady coming and going of voters through the polling place (44th Ward, 23rd Precinct. I was asked for a photo ID before the worker would look up my registration.


  45. - Crimefighter - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 1:07 pm:

    Excuse me, why is checking id a problem? It should be a REQUIREMENT to prevent voter fraud.


  46. - CG - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 1:12 pm:

    I arrived at my polling place at 7.45am in the 20th Senate district, and they were just setting up the equipment. We had to wait about an hour to vote. I bet over a hundred people came and went as I waited to vote. The first two people to vote walked out of the polling place without putting their ballots through the machine. At 8.40am, when I put my ballot through the machine, I was the 5th person to vote at that polling place. It was very disconcerting.


  47. - confused in dupage - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 1:12 pm:

    In eastern DuPage, I was not asked for an ID but they did require me to once I signed the 3 X 5 election commission’s voters verification card, to write republican or democrat on the top of the card Thats the first time I ever had to do that.


  48. - Princeville - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 1:14 pm:

    Same ol’ boring voting day in my dinky village as usual, busier early this morning as people take their kids to school and go off to work. We’ve had several of the same election judges for ages, know most of us by sight, gets our card slips out for signature.

    There are usually checkers to see how things are going that stop by the place at least once during the day, just to be sure all is well and going according to rules ect.

    Judges asked which ballot then entered request, access code slip given and sent me to a booth inwhich ballot appeared after I entered my access code. Easy. I do my thing, it has me review and final cast of vote is verified by me before I hit the final cast vote .

    I took my youngest son with me this morning to cast his very first vote. Being his first time he thought it was stupid to have to select a Republican or Democrat or Green ballot, even though I tried to pre-explain the process to him—-what does he do? He asks for a Hillary ballot. Oh, well, they gave him the right ballot and he’s pleased with himself casting his first vote.


  49. - Been There - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 1:14 pm:

    No problem voting or getting in. Steady turnout all morning at my polling place. I wasn’t asked for an id but having the precinct captain and poll watcher say hi to you when you walk up to the table probably negates the need.
    Before voting, I was working a polling place in the 2nd Ward (for Will Burns). There were 2 precincts. One was running smoothly but the other was a mess. From the voters exiting, it seems that the demand for extra help for our local schools is well heeded, as some of the judges couldn’t even read.


  50. - Pat Collins - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 1:14 pm:

    I voted around 7:30 or so. I didn’t see the exact number but I think it was 100 something. A dem guy came in next to me, he was 20 something.

    I think, I really didnt pay attention. No lines, though.

    Nor was I asked for an ID.

    But I am sure it’s just judges confused about early voting vs. regular one.


  51. - KIZ - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 1:14 pm:

    Sorry to sound like a dim bulb, but what’s wrong with being asked to show ID? I always immediately show them my voter registration card or driver’s license, without being asked. How else are they supposed to know if you actually are who you say you are and are voting fairly?


  52. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 1:15 pm:

    Because it’s not the law.


  53. - Dan S, a Voter - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 1:16 pm:

    I voted around 12:15 PM in precinct 99 Springfield, we have steady rain & fog today. Very slow when I was in and no line, may have been one other person voting when I was in. In and out very quickly, I offered my voter ID card to make it easier on the election judge to find me.


  54. - DuPage Dem - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 1:22 pm:

    Confused in DuPage: I had to do the same thing in Glen Ellyn.


  55. - KIZ - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 1:29 pm:

    It may not be the law, but I think it should be. I was surprised to hear it wasn’t. As I said, I always show ID as soon as I walk up to the table because I just assumed they would need some kind of identification.

    Those of you who were upset at being asked for ID, why did that bother you? I’m not saying you shouldn’t be upset about it, I’m just wondering what the argument against it is.


  56. - Stuck with Sen. CPA - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 1:30 pm:

    I was asked for ID immediately too - West Side precinct in Aurora.

    And my second optical scan ballot jammed. They had to open the machine and manually push it down in the bin.


  57. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 1:35 pm:

    Because the tactic has often been used to suppress the vote. Now, let’s move along.


  58. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 1:36 pm:

    The reason that so many find the request for ID to be a problem is that historically it was done to supress minority turnout.


  59. - Bill S. Preston, Esq. - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 1:39 pm:

    KIZ - Showing an ID may prevent voter fraud in some instances, but in others it encourages voter intimidation. And, as Rich said, the real point is that it’s not the law.


  60. - KIZ - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 1:42 pm:

    I guess I can understand that argument. Still, it seems the potential for fraud is huge with no ID requirement. But, whatever. Thanks for the explanation.


  61. - A Citizen - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 1:43 pm:

    The First time I voted today all booths were full but little wait time. No ID check. 140 voters had been in which was considered a very high turnout. I will report again later when I vote again!


  62. - Don Kosin - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 1:44 pm:

    I am writing from out of state. I am a lifelong Chicagoan living in Maryland, but just since the early 80s. My family back in Chicago all voted for OBAMA today and that makes me PROUD to be an AMERICAN! They reported NO problems at the polls, but said it “seemed” a little more “crowded” than usual. My last vote in Illinois was for JOHN ANDERSON!


  63. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 1:45 pm:

    Kendall County, Oswego- Plenty of democratic tickets pulled with special primary more Republican- could have different winner in special and regular primary for 14th district.


  64. - jerry 101 - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 1:47 pm:

    it’s against the law to ask for ID, so it often bothers me when someone tries.

    Besides, ask any 18, 19, or 20 year old college kid, getting a fake ID isn’t exactly difficult so it does jack squat to prevent vote fraud. I never had a fake, but I knew at least a dozen people in college who did. And I went to school in 19-bar entry age land (champaign), so, getting served was never a problem.

    All requiring ID does is makes it tougher to vote if you don’t have an ID. And there is no requirement in this country, thank god, to have a photo ID.


  65. - Margaret - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 2:01 pm:

    Judges who served during early voting were required to get the voter’s ID. Maybe that’s why so many Judges are confused today.


  66. - ahoy! - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 2:04 pm:

    This might be off topic. I just went to vote and I figured I would have to show my ID. Since I had no clue who the election judge was and I’m guessing she has no idea who I am, why would she just take my word for it? This seems like it could/would lead to corruption in the voting process. So, why do you not have to show proof that you are who you are when voting? I have to show ID when I buy alcohol, tobacco or write a check. I think voting is more important than all three of those.


  67. - Downers Delight - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 2:10 pm:

    You are not required to show a photo ID card when you vote because you are required to verify your identity when you are registering to vote (most of the time with a photo ID, but not all the time).

    Election judges are just citizens helping out on election day whereas voter registrars at libraries, city hall, the DMV, or elsewhere are appointed to their positions by authorized officials (e.g. certain government officials, county political party chairmen, etc).


  68. - True Observer - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 2:10 pm:

    Silly you.
    Do you think those who are against photo IDs to vote are for honest elections?
    The question answers itself.
    Virtually everyone has a photo ID.
    Just imagine what life would be like for a person who did not have a photo ID.
    The only universe a person can think of who might not be able to have a photo ID are those who have mental problems.
    The people who are against photo IDs are the same ones who want these people to be able to vote.


  69. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 2:12 pm:

    ahoy, you really should have read the other comments before asking that question.


  70. - Crimefighter - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 2:13 pm:

    Rich Miller, would you like to describe how you prevent people from voting more than once and impersonating other people to vote again?

    Yes Rich, COMMON SENSE does not have to be written in black and white for you to stop cheating.


  71. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 2:13 pm:

    TO, you should also read some of the other comments. The law is the law. Whine all you want, but try not to do so here. Thanks.


  72. - Little Egypt - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 2:15 pm:

    Being an election judge for many years, I can tell you that after the Floriduh election/chad fiasco, we were encouraged to ask for some kind of ID with a signature to match our books if we were in doubt. People’s signatures change over the years but you have a few people who choose to get sloppy with their signatures and do their best doctor poor penmanship impression when they sign their card to vote. The population of my precinct was pretty stable; however, there were a couple of instances of new people whose signature on the ballot application was far different that what we saw on the record. One gentleman in particular was asked for an ID that had a signature on it, he said “you’re kidding?”, we said “sorry but we’re not”, and he produced his FBI badge and ID. However, he was quite thankful that we were as vigilant as we were and said he had learned his lesson when it comes to signing his ballot application. No harm intended, no offense taken. In some areas requring an ID could be a form of voter intimidation; however, we ran a 100% clean precinct and would occasionally ask for ID. I’d rather be turned in for being too cautious than let a dead man vote over and over again. The slogan for Chicago during election time, “vote early and vote often”, didn’t come about because all was kosher up there at election time.


  73. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 2:15 pm:

    Crimefighter, let’s get back to the topic at hand.


  74. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 2:16 pm:

    Last warning. Back to the voting experience topic, please.


  75. - Little Egypt - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 2:19 pm:

    No problems voting, very heavy turnout in my precinct. Not a huge amount of campaign signs, heavy rain, no poll watchers present when I was there. Great people - God bless the election judges who work from 5 a.m. to 8 or 9 p.m. They were all very friendly and helpful.


  76. - In the Chi - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 2:33 pm:

    I live in Chicago’s south loop, 2nd Ward, precinct 55. I voted at 1:30pm to avoid lines and, well, there was only one other person voting besides myself, so mission accomplished! I was told it was very busy in the morning though. Even with only two voters there, the election judges were slow and disorganized. They forgot to ask for my signature when giving me my ballot. But that has been my typical experience voting in Chicago. No campaign workers around at that time, but lots of signs for Will Burns, Berrios, Deretany.


  77. - outerdriveexpress - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 2:40 pm:

    I spoke with Suzanne Elder and she said a thug broke into her campaign HQ last night and threatened people with a box cutter. They called the police but they didn’t find the guy.


  78. - FairDemocracyNow - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 2:47 pm:

    Voters wishing to pull a Green Party ballot are being disenfranchised all over the state - especially Chicago. Election judges all over the state are verbally omitting the Green Party when offering the choices to the voter!

    A Green poll watcher is live blogging from Chicago: http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?
    fuseaction=blog.view&am
    p;friendID=188400239&
    blogID=354973039


  79. - Moliner - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 2:51 pm:

    Only 2 people ahead of me (actually voting) when I arrived at my polling place. No one asked me for ID but I think the same peolpe have been manning the polls for the last 40 years that I’ve been voting. One of the workers wanted to explain all my choices to me over and over - Democrat, Republican, Indepent, Green…. I kept saying DEMOCRAT… the nice man would just keep explaining the different choices like he couldn’t hear me…. I again stated DEMOCRAT and tapped the paper… this went on for the entire speech he must have memorized!

    When I left I asked about political signs and polling places as there was one 25 feet from the door of where I vote and one about 40 feet. They said it was legal. I said I didn’t think so. I called the county and they said they are supposed to be 100 feet from the door. I went by later and the one that was 25 feet had been removed but the guy had one about 40 feet away and they let that stay.

    Politics as usual in Rock Island County.


  80. - jerry 101 - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 2:57 pm:

    FDN - the sheet that I signed and indicated my party on clearly offered green party as an option.

    All the choices were clearly displayed on the sheet. First I signed on the line and then she pointed where the parties were and asked me to check one off. I checked democratic, and then she handed me a Democratic ballot. The choices, clearly shown, were Democratic, Republican, Green, and No Party (or something like that).

    I don’t see how she could have avoided displaying the Green Party as one of my choices when it’s clearly printed right above where I signed. So your complaints smell a little fishy right now.


  81. - demgrl - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 3:07 pm:

    I just voted around 2pm in my HEAVILY REPUBLICAN Springfield precinct. I was told I was voter 107 and that 99 of the previous voters had requested Dem ballots… Nice.


  82. - JP - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 3:08 pm:

    Chicago ward - 46th, 10th Precinct

    I was asked for ID when I voted this AM at about 6:30. I told the election worker that I didn’t have an ID on me, and that I didn’t need one. The other workers discussed it and agreed with me, so I was allowed to vote. I later called the committeeman and asked him to make sure the workers were following the law.


  83. - the wonderboy - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 3:09 pm:

    Normal 27…asked myself and everyone I saw come in for ID. Not my first time or anything. It seems that there are judges who weren’t trained on the rules.


  84. - Been There - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 3:15 pm:

    Moliner,
    The law about signs at the polling place is 100 feet from the door of the room to where you vote. It is hard to determine unless the judges mark the spot. And many who do mark or come out to shoo us campaingers away, do not know about the 100 feet from the room.


  85. - Rob_N - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 3:16 pm:

    Just voted about 20mins ago. The Mrs. and I were voters 104 and 105 which is about average to above average for a general election at midafternoon. I don’t know how it relates to other primary voting rates.

    There were booths open, but at 2:40 it was a hopping place with several folks coming in as other finished up. The other precinct (that I could see) was also busy.


  86. - Rob_N - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 3:18 pm:

    Ditto what Jerry 101 said. My voting form included three parties to choose from — Republican, Democratic, & Green.


  87. - Sacks Romana - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 3:30 pm:

    This is probably the best place to post this. Some Chicago live-blogging pollwatching action:

    http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm
    ?fuseaction=blog.view&fri
    endID=188400239&blogID=354973039

    An Exerpt:
    “About 20 minutes ago an Electioneer from the Bradley campaign (the one that continually comes up in here) was checking in with the female Election Judge, who appears to be acting as his Pollwatcher (not appropriate), and then sat in her place at the table and began recording information on her forms and his own. Any possible shred of impartiality surrounding the Election Judges in here is ruined.”


  88. - anon - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 3:34 pm:

    From a story in The Times:

    “Further, Illinois voters now use some form of electronic voting technology that has made it harder to commit the old forms of voter fraud such as stuffing ballot boxes, says Steve Sturm, an attorney for the Illinois State Board of Elections. . . .

    Kankakee County Clerk Bruce Clark said a frequent question to his office is from election judges trying to verify a voter does in fact meet residency requirements. . . .

    In the rare instance voters might be challenged when trying to vote, Sturm recommends they take along a voter’s registration card, driver’s license or some other form of identification as well as a utility bill or something else that shows their current address. . . .”


  89. - Ken in Aurora - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 3:43 pm:

    Aurora Ward 5, 9:30 AM. No crowd, I was just over #100. Same election judges as usual, friendly, no stress.

    I’m wearing my “I VOTED” sticker upside down as a protest of the poor quality candidates we’ve been offered.

    I’d love to see the law changed to require photo ID to vote.


  90. - the commuter once known as So Ill - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 3:49 pm:

    Voted in my DuPage County precinct (Oakbrook Terrace) this morning about 7:30. No line for me, but about five people were in line before I reached the voting booth. Just caught the timing right.

    I pulled a Dem ballot — was NOT asked to write “Democrat” or “Republican” as others in DuPage/Kane counties have mentioned. I also voted electronically for the first time. I don’t like the system at all…how much paper is the elctronic system wasting by printing little receipts? And how do I write-in a candidate, is that possible? I don’t even know.

    Also was disappointed in the lack of choices on my ballot, but that’s a different topic for a different day. Took D to vote Obama.


  91. - Rob_N - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 3:50 pm:

    Ken, Not every American has a photo id (not everyone drives, etc.).

    How do you propose to avoid disenfranchising those voters without ids?


  92. - Ken in Aurora - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 4:00 pm:

    Rob, I don’t want to get too deep into it here to avoid Rich’s ire, but 1) IL already has a non-DL ID card and 2) make it free.


  93. - so-called "Austin Mayor" - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 4:03 pm:

    Rich,

    I had a better election day day experience than the ladies in this Tribune story:

    “An election judge was charged with battery Tuesday morning after punching another judge at a 42nd Ward West Loop polling place *** The female judges, whose party affiliations were not immediately known, were quarreling over “procedures” when one punched the other in the face.”
    http://tinyurl.com/2juh52

    – SCAM


  94. - ZC - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 4:05 pm:

    My voting experience in Lincoln Square went super-smooth. Pretty good turnout by 8:30 am, over 100 voting, counting the early votes. Nobody asked me for an ID.

    Can anyone tell me what the net effect would be if I voted Barack for President and then voted for all six of Hillary’s delegates? Not saying I did, mind; just curious.


  95. - Anon 1114 - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 4:12 pm:

    Rich, thanks for the info, and kudos to the AG’s office for being on top of this — I just filed a complaint with details. I almost didn’t bring my ID on principle this morning, and if my judge had insisted I would have been unable to vote today.

    I’ve been a pollwatcher before, and the intimidation factor in asking for ID is particularly bad when there’s a language issue. I saw several older immigrants, who were clearly registered, flummoxed by judges questioning them about their ID, their address, if they are registered. No question that if I hadn’t intervened they would have left without voting and been disenfranchised.


  96. - JC - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 4:14 pm:

    I live in the QC also and one candidate had a sign 10 feet from the door where I voted. I think 10 versus 100 is pretty easy to spot. One of the gals working at the poll went out and took it down herself. She was really ticked off.


  97. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 4:15 pm:

    ZC, the “beauty contest” means nothing in Illinois. It’s all about the delegates.


  98. - 46th Ward Uptown Lady - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 4:26 pm:

    Marilyn Manson Trumps Obama and Hillary in 46th Ward

    Local voters were shocked to find parking access to two 46th Ward polling places blocked by singer Marilyn Manson’s set-up crews. The Lawrence House (4th pct.) and United Winthrop Towers (6th pct.) at 1020 W Lawrence and 4848 N. Winthrop, respectively, suffered from parking woes from 6:00 a.m. to late afternoon. The Chicago Bureau of Traffic Services provided the Aragon Ballroom with two Police Tow Zones and 20th and 23rd District Police provided local residents with tickets and tows. The tow zones, in force on for both sides of the 1100 block of West Lawrence and south end of the 4800 block of North Winthrop, forced those voters not living in those two low income high rise buildings to walk from blocks away (or not vote.)

    While Aragon monopolized the streets and blocked the alleys, its two parking lots remained unutilized. Where were Dem. Committeeman Tom Not-So-Sharpe and Ald. Helen Shiller as this was going on?


  99. - demgrl - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 4:37 pm:

    So, Rich, are you saying that if Obama got 90% of the dem votes but CLinton’s delegates all got more votes than any of the Obama delegates in IL that Clinton would get all the delegates?


  100. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 4:39 pm:

    The beauty contest doesn’t matter at all. It’s only about the delegates.


  101. - True Observer - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 5:00 pm:

    “I almost didn’t bring my ID on principle this morning, and if my judge had insisted I would have been unable to vote today.”

    And if somebody had already come in and voted for you, you wouldn’t have been able to vote either.

    “I saw several older immigrants, who were clearly registered, flummoxed by judges questioning them about their ID, their address, if they are registered.”

    So now the Judges can’t ask a person if they are registered and if so at what address?


  102. - Judgment Day Is On The Way... - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 5:17 pm:

    Kane County, Campton 7: 11:40 AM

    Very busy, had local issues on ballot, also primary for Denny Hastert’s seat.

    10 voting booths just for Campton 7, and they had been full since 7 AM according to workers there, with always 6-7 people in line.

    Local issues driving the turnout, which sure was looking good according to staff.

    Moved to a new precinct location (brand new church with large parking lot), and the parking lot was literally packed - People were waiting for somebody to leave, then taking the empty spot. Turnout was really something.

    Local races (Village of Campton Hills board; Kane County Board chair; & Denny Hastert’s seat) looked to be the big draws.

    Saw a stream of people in line, holding one of the competing mailers over the opposing slates regarding the Village of Campton Hills board. Feelings are running hot over that issue.


  103. - Anon 1114 - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 5:20 pm:

    Of course not, True. But the questions escalate and, sadly, can be accompanied by a pretty hostile attitude. Let me share you my “true observations”, based on my experience in Cook County in 2006, where the ONLY people the judges asked for ID were Latino. I objected repeatedly until they stopped after I threatened to call the County Clerk.

    Judge: Name please?
    Elderly voter with son: Her name is ___.
    Judge: Do you have ID ma’am?
    ME: They don’t need ID.
    Judge: I can’t understand her name, I need ID.
    ME: They don’t need ID.
    Judge: Do you really live in this precinct? What name did you register with? Can you spell that? I can’t understand you. Show me an ID because I can’t understand you.
    Voter: (looks helplessly at son, edges towards door)
    ME: They don’t need ID.
    Judge: You have to tell me your name in English or I won’t look it up.
    ME: Can you write down your name for the judge?

    And since the judges don’t like to be called on this they give voters the evil eye. It shouldn’t be intimidating to exercise the franchise.


  104. - Ken in Aurora - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 5:47 pm:

    So you’re admitting to a crime, are you?


  105. - City Voter - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 7:08 pm:

    Ward 1, 33rd Precinct
    10 feet from the polling place door I was offered a ’sample ballot’ card w/headliner Barack Obama. No, thanks very much, although very easy for me to follow and highly illegal, I’ll pass. Walk into polling place, must get better, correct? NO! In the polling room was asked again by short woman, “Are you voting?” “Why yes, yes, I am. Thanks for asking.” She pulls the SAME SAMPLE BALLOT out of her pocket and says, “I can’t give this to you in here.” Really? Did you see the turnip truck just drive by too? Next, asked for my ID. Nope, sure don’t have that, but take a look at this voter registration card - directed to next table. On that table what do you think before my tiny eyes doth appear? Yes, you are correct, the same sample ballot card - face up - thus reflecting headliner B.O. with his merry band - Durbin, Gutierrez, Delgado, Soto, Berrios. Lest I forget to mention, short woman who graciously offered sample ballot was on her cell phone reporting the numbers voted. If I’m not mistaken, also illegal.

    Was voter 208 at about 6:45pm and hardly anyone left after me.

    PS - I had to return to the ballot table after processing my ballot b/c the I was not asked to sign the voting form prior to taking my ballot. Another horrendous experience voting in Chicago!


  106. - Crimefighter - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 7:37 pm:

    I guess it’s now letter to the editor time to get my point across to people who refuse to listen.


  107. - California - Tuesday, Feb 5, 08 @ 9:47 pm:

    I went and voted in the 42nd Ward today and was asked for my I.D. When I repeated by name (and not handing over my I.D.), the election judge insisted I show it! I went along with it…but knew this was not necessary!


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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