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Chicago Board of Elections fails again

Monday, Jun 6, 2022

* Politico

Officials at the Chicago Board of Elections say 73 precincts throughout the city won’t be operating for the June 28 primary, and officials are clamoring to locate new polling sites for the November General Election.

The precinct vacuum affects 120,000 registered voters across the city, including voters from nine precincts in the 42nd Ward, generally considered a high-voting area. The city has more than 2,000 precincts spread across 50 wards.

A circuit court ruling Friday allows the Elections Board to contact residents in the 73 precincts to inform them about their voting options, including using their Ward Early Vote sites open on Election Day and voting by mail.

Why precincts are closed: Since the pandemic, numerous buildings and restaurants have decided not to serve as polling sites. They don’t want the hassle. “Our polling places division has seen a wave of new opt-outs from traditional precinct polling places during the Covid pandemic over the last two years,” Board of Elections spokesman Max Bever told Playbook. […]

Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough says suburban voting districts aren’t having a problem. Some locations backed out “but we were able to replace them,” she told Playbook.

They’re just realizing this three weeks out? Just ridiculous, but par for the course. Can you imagine if an elections board in the South had pulled this nonsense so close to the election?

The ruling is here. The precinct list is here.

* I asked the Democratic Party of Illinois’ spokesperson whether candidates and legislative caucuses had been notified of Friday’s ruling. Response…

We are talking to the Cook County Democratic Party to determine the best way to notify those impacted by the ruling

Um, I think they already know by now.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

18 Comments
  1. - Downstate - Monday, Jun 6, 22 @ 1:33 pm:

    “Can you imagine if an elections board in the South had pulled this nonsense so close to the election?”

    Truer words.


  2. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jun 6, 22 @ 1:40 pm:

    Ward committeemen have so few things to do these days, but by habit and tradition, this is one of them. The ward committeemen need to get on the ball and find places for their voters to vote. It’s like pretty much the only reason to have them other than slating.

    Ward Committeeman is like the appendix of the political body. You don’t even know what it’s there for until there’s a problem with it.


  3. - Donnie Elgin - Monday, Jun 6, 22 @ 1:41 pm:

    Too bad those 4,500 new Dominion voting machines Cook County just purchased won’t allow “Vote Anywhere” on election day. In DuPage, you do not need to go to or even know where your local precinct is. On election day you go to any open precinct and cast the ballot with the races linked to your home address.

    https://www.shawlocal.com/my-suburban-life/news/dupage-county/2022/05/18/vote-anywhere-among-several-changes-on-election-day-in-dupage-county/


  4. - Bruce( no not him) - Monday, Jun 6, 22 @ 1:54 pm:

    Some would call that voter suppression, if it was in a red state.
    But in illinois, it’s just incompetence.


  5. - Sox Fan - Monday, Jun 6, 22 @ 2:03 pm:

    Donnie Elgin is 100% right. You can early vote anywhere in the city. Same should apply on election day.


  6. - West Side the Best Side - Monday, Jun 6, 22 @ 2:04 pm:

    Looks like Politico only looked at the first page of the list, 14 total in the 42d Ward, the largest of any ward. Lot of restaurants in that Downtown, Near North, Near West area so may be merit to the Board’s claim of places not wanting the hassle. Think if it was voter suppression the CBE would be picking the more Republican wards if it was the general. Just the usual bumbling to not figure out you were losing polling places this close to the election.


  7. - Sox Fan - Monday, Jun 6, 22 @ 2:05 pm:

    Also, why not bring back the super site? The united center or somewhere else.


  8. - CT Guy - Monday, Jun 6, 22 @ 2:14 pm:

    I’m guessing there’s still a big shortage of election judges and coordinators? A good number of precincts in 11th and 25th were combined into a school - was this the same in other parts of the city?

    I had presumed they were better to handle it logistically with staff & students out for the summer as oppose to the usual election days.


  9. - ChicagoBars - Monday, Jun 6, 22 @ 2:16 pm:

    Just glancing at that TRO precinct list I’m pretty sure I personally could’ve found them alternate precinct sites for at least 10 of them in under 2 hours on the phone. Really weird fail.


  10. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jun 6, 22 @ 2:29 pm:

    ===I’m guessing===

    That the board of elections is incompetent.


  11. - Amalia - Monday, Jun 6, 22 @ 2:34 pm:

    if you have ever worked an election in Chicago you know that there used to be even more precinct locations than there are now. they consolidated once, they should do it again. it is less and less necessary for in person voting with mail in ballots and voting at one site per ward in the run up to elections (think they still have those). and if you have ever worked an election in the City you know that these precincts are ghost towns in the daytime but have to be open all day. change.


  12. - CT Guy - Monday, Jun 6, 22 @ 2:44 pm:

    I agree that the number of options we have to either early vote or mail in ballots lessens the need to have so many sites, BUT having worked an election sites, people are get upset AF when they are told they cannot vote where they have been voting in previous elections, and while I hate having to turn them away to go to their assigned site or worse ask them to vote provisionally.


  13. - derp - Monday, Jun 6, 22 @ 2:54 pm:

    Since a primary is a partisan event in Chicago, it is definitely appropriate that comment is sought from Democratic Party only and not Republicans.


  14. - Anonymous - Monday, Jun 6, 22 @ 3:47 pm:

    kind of like those primaries when they ran out of ballots or didn’t fit in the tabulator. LOL


  15. - ChicagoBars - Monday, Jun 6, 22 @ 3:57 pm:

    Ok because this whole thing has me puzzled I pulled up the 2020 primary list and most of these seem to be due to a handful of high volume sites allegedly not being available?

    Many of the 42nd Ward ones? 2 years ago they were in Riverside Plaza at 321 N Clark. No idea why the highrise pulled the blog but lunch at Chicago Cut after voting would be nice.

    Up in 44th Ward? Some of the now vacant sites were in a single church but some were also going to the new(ish) police station on Addison up there and the brand newly renovated library on Belmont?

    Yeah, some of these were high rise residential towers that probably decided post-Covid they didn’t want strangers en masse but a decent number of the 70 some total precincts in need of a location seem like mini-ward super sites that just didn’t renew (or didn’t return paperwork). Really puzzling.


  16. - Chris in ChiTown - Monday, Jun 6, 22 @ 4:06 pm:

    Usually this is handled by choosing a school, a library, a church space, a community center & place two to four precinct sites in the polling place. The committee person probably needs to pay the site for the use over the course of the whole day (instead of the craziness that’s happening now). If they cannot do it, there needs to be large scale sites nearby & in downtown kept open to allow voters to vote.


  17. - thisjustinagain - Monday, Jun 6, 22 @ 5:07 pm:

    You’d think the City Machine as it exists today would make REALLY sure the CBE was on its game for the elections. LL must be going crazy yet again; wait for heads to roll.


  18. - Lurker - Monday, Jun 6, 22 @ 6:42 pm:

    This might help Bailey. Chicago is heavy Irvin.


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