Ballot Shortages in Sangamon, Kendall County Cause Headaches

Two Illinois counties had ballot shortages Tuesday, causing polls to stay open later than expected

A shortage of paper ballots in Sangamon County and Kendall County forced polling places to stay open later than expected Tuesday.

In Sangamon County, which includes Springfield, there was a shortage of both Democratic and Republican paper ballots.

As a result, voters in 13 or more precincts were forced to wait at least two hours for additional ballots to be printed.

The cutoff for voting in the county was ultimately extended from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Doris Turner, an alderman Representing Springfield’s 3rd Ward, placed blame on County Clerk Don Gray. Gray ran unopposed in the November election.

It is uncertain how many people were deterred after arriving at polling places without ballots and left without voting.

Large voter turnout seems to be the reason for the lack of ballots. Last week, Gray claimed that turnout could peak at 25 percent. But, with 90 percent of votes tallied, turnout stood at 35 percent.

There was also a shortage of Democratic ballots in Kendall County.

Kendall County Clerk Debbie Gillette claimed the clerk’s office was informed by precincts and judges of a lack of ballots and immediately reacted.

“We started printing them more ballots and delivering them to those polling places as fast as we could,” Gillette told Ward Room.

She claims that two or three precincts might have gone 15 or 20 minutes without ballots.

As a result of the shortage, Kendall County polls remained open until 8 p.m.

Kendall County does not give voters the option to cast ballots electronically.

According to Gillette, all precincts were supplied with ballots by late Tuesday afternoon.  

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