The biggest story in town on Election Day in Cook County is the “utter brawl and brutality” at some polling places, an official said—but not with great specificity.
Cook County Clerk David Orr told reporters Tuesday that various voting locations were the scenes of violence, intimidation and thuggery, but offered few specific details to back those allegations up.
“That’s where all the action is, OK? People are being beaten up, harassed, every step in the book of old machine dirty politics is taking place out there in the Southwest Side,” he said.
A call to Orr’s chief of staff asking for more specific information about the county clerk’s allegations was not immediately returned Tuesday evening.
Asked about Election Day violence in the city of Chicago, police said they did respond to at least one incident in the McKinley Park neighborhood.
A verbal altercation between a 60-year-old man and a 31-year-old man turned physical in the 3600 block of South Hoyne about 7:55 a.m., police said. Both men refused medical attention and declined to sign complaints—but a report of simple battery was completed, police said.
Orr implied the violence was confined to the Southwest Side—but it was unclear if he meant the city of Chicago or the southwest portion of the county.
“That is where the action is today, and if you want to see old machine politics, that’s where you go,” he said. “But we don’t have much of that district.”
Orr attached the spats of violence to the hot contest for congress.
“Remember this is for the future of the democratic party,” he said. “These are the races to replace, well Chuy Garcia, for Congress, to replace Mr. Garcia, there’s a really wild battle there, with lots of phsyical things going on.”
He said campaigns in the county are “all kind of connected” in the region.
“That is where literally blood is flowing in certain places,” he said.