Confused voters crash Chicago elections site
SPRINGFIELD – Minor problems have been reported at polling places and with the voting process in general throughout the Illinois.
In Chicago, voters looking up the correct polling place caused the Chicago Board of Elections website to crash. Officials blamed unprecedented traffic and heightened interest in the presidential election. Voters were redirected to the state board of elections website, which had the same information.
“We are, of course, sorry for the inability to access the website this morning,” Langdon Neal, chairman of the Chicago Board of Elections, told the Chicago Sun-Times. “We were completely overwhelmed between 6 and 8 this morning.”
The site was working late this afternoon.
Meanwhile, a few voters at the Illinois Watchdog Facebook page recounted a few problems at polls throughout the state.
Renee Sikes-Loewenau said a friend in northern Illinois reported that touchscreen voting stations there were reversing the presidential selections. She said her friend caught the error when she checked her printout.
“Everyone needs to review their printout before turning it in, and there is a process to go through to correct it,” she advised.
Jeffrey Butz said his polling place changed, unbeknownst to him.
“Apparently, the district lines were redrawn,” he wrote. “Yeah, I assumed I voted at the same place. My fault for not looking it up. Got it done, though!”
Larry Kloth of Chicago reported it busier-than-usual voting activity in the city’s 10th Ward. He said a lot of voters at his polling place were directed to a new polling place.
“Some had old voter ID cards without the new location, (and) the Board of Elections website has been overwhelmed, and there was some chaos getting some people to the correct place,” he wrote. “One woman accused the judges of trying to keep her from voting. One unusual thing here in this heavily Democratic area – there is an almost complete absence of yard signs anywhere, and the only signs I’ve seen at polling places were for Romney/Ryan.”
Other voters reported their voting experiences went as smoothly as expected.
Jason Swink of Springfield said there was a good turnout at his polling place.
“…Parking lot full, people in and out, was smooth,” he wrote.
Renee Simkus Schlenhardt voted in Mount Prospect.
“My polling place in Mount Prospect was really quiet this morning. I was in and out in 10 minutes,” she wrote.
And then there was the age-old problem of parking at the polls.
“Took 20 minutes from stepping in line (approximately 80 people ahead of me) to submitting my ballot. The line had doubled in size as I left,” reported Martha Murray Dismer, who voted in Coal Valley. “The line had doubled in size as I left. “The worst part of the voting was the parking lot. It is a gravel-and-asphalt lot with no parking lines, so people were parking stupid and blocking driveways and exits.”
Illinois polls are open until 7 tonight.
The Illinois State Board of Elections has a special Election Day hotline to assist voters. Problems, complaints and questions can be directed to 312-263-7367 in Chicago and to 217-782-4141 for Springfield and elsewhere in the state.
Contact Jayette Bolinski at email@example.com.
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