Election Day Issues Prompt Delayed Openings for Several Polling Places in Chicago

Issues with election coordinators and last-minute polling location closures delayed the openings of several voting locations around Chicago Tuesday.

The Chicago Board of Elections said 50 precincts were in the process of being moved early Tuesday, but didn't have an exact number of locations that didn't open on time.

"We don’t have a clear number of the number of polling places that opened on time and those that have a late opening," Chairwoman Marisel Hernandez said. "We will be getting that shortly. But we do know that a number of election coordinators who help coordinate precincts and do the technological fixes for various precincts have canceled today. We have also had issue with approximately 50 polling places that canceled on the board very late, some as late as yesterday evening."

The cancellations resulted in last-minute equipment moves that caused major delays or technological issues at several locations.

Despite hundreds of closures across Chicago due to the coronavirus pandemic, Illinois' primary election continued as scheduled, but election officials worried about low voter turnout and a lack of election judges.

"We think that it’s not as busy as usual because of the number of people who are working from home. We will be monitoring the situation and advising of any unusual circumstances as they come along," Hernandez said.

But Chicago wasn't the only location experiencing issues.

In Barrington, voters arrived at the Village Hall to a sign that read "Election judges did not show up. Please contact the county which you live in or the voting website for updates."

Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough said officials were working to resolve the issue.

Meanwhile, both workers and voters reported a shortage of sanitizer and cleaning supplies.

According to Matt Dietrich, spokesman for the Illinois State Board of Elections, "local election authorities are doing their best to address these problems."

Yarbrough tweeted around 8 a.m. that supplies was being "dropped off to every precinct."

Officials have already reported a spike in early voting and mail-in ballots, but issued a last-minute plea for election judges as many across the city dropped out.

"We have to have our elections continue, in my opinion. This is the right thing to do," Pritzker said at his daily coronavirus briefing Monday. "Our democracy needs to go on, we need to elect leaders. If we canceled these elections, you know, when would you have an election, would be a question I might ask. But the most important thing is that we're taking every precaution."

Follow our live blog for more updates throughout this Election Day.

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