UPDATE: “We did have a rocky start in a number of polling places where we had insufficient judges and/or equipment issues,” said Jim Allen, Chicago’s boards of elections spokesman, in a conference call with reporters this afternoon. Allen said the board was seeking an extension of voting for an additional hour at six locations because of various problems. One of those locations is Leona’s Restaurant, an Italian Pizzeria in Chicago’s 49th ward, where the door was locked shut. “The owner didn’t show up, so we had to bust the door down,” Allen said. “It’s Election Day, we don’t have a day after Election Day.”
Allen continued to explain that at least 2,000 election judges did not show up as planned. The judges’ absence could be tied to robocalls from this past weekend that instructed some judges to go to training sessions and told them how to vote. “You’re telling people how to vote in a federal election and implying that it has to do with their employment,” Allen said. “I covered politics for a long time in Chicago and around the state, all of you have, this one is a new dirty trick.”
Voters who went to cast their ballots in Chicago today experienced a number of issues ranging from malfunctioning ballot scanners to paper ballots that didn’t include questions that were supposed to appear on the ballot, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Several malfunctioning ballot scanners in Chicago meant that some voters in the 1st, 2nd, 12th, and 42nd wards had to receive paper ballots, and several voters told the Sun-Times the paper ballots lacked ballot questions about raising the state minimum wage and other issues.
But the problems did not end there: One counting machine jammed in Chicago’s 1st ward, and one voting station was reportedly located in a vacant storefront that had no working bathroom or running water. The latest voting problems come after reports claiming voting machines in Illinois’s Rock Island County were changing votes for Republicans into votes for Democrats.