Several voters across Chicago have expressed frustration after saying they showed up to vote at their long-time polling locations, only to be directed to other precincts that turned them away or did not exist.
“I went to the same place I’ve been voting for years and then for some reason they said I couldn’t vote there,” said Chicago resident Brian Ekerman. “They gave me a place down the street to go. But then they said I couldn’t vote there either. I don’t understand. I haven’t moved or changed addresses for eight years.”
Ekerman said he was eventually able to vote at a VFW facility.
“It was a frustrating experience,” he said.
Stacey, a voter from the South Side of Chicago, said that when she arrived at the precinct where she’s voted for the last ten years, she was told she would have to do a provisional vote. Stacey said she and “many others” were then sent to a polling location on East Washington Street that did not exist. Stacey said she was eventually referred to a third voting facility, but continued to experience problems there.
“The inconvenience almost seems deliberate,” Stacey said.
Chicago resident Jessica D. said she learned this morning that her polling location based on her address “was changed without notice.” She said after showing up at the Belmont-Cragin Library, she was told she was at the wrong location. Jessica said she was then directed to an address on West Belmont that turned out to be an “empty storefront.”
“By that time, I was too late for work,” Jessica said.
Jessica said she was finally able to cast her vote late Tuesday afternoon.
A spokesperson for the Board of Elections Commissioners for the City of Chicago could not immediately be reached for comment.
The Board of Elections website said if you moved on or before October 7, 2018 from anywhere to your current Chicago address, vote at the Chicago precinct polling place for your current address. If you moved October 8, 2018 or later from your old Chicago address to your current Chicago address, vote at the precinct polling place for your old address. Then, after Election Day, update your registration ahead of the next election.
If you moved October 8, 2018 or later from outside of the city to your current Chicago address, vote at the precinct polling place for your new address. You will receive a “federal only ballot” that lists only the office of the U. S. Represenative.
This story includes tips from ProPublica’s Electionland project, which monitors voting problems around the country.