Voters Report Trouble at Some Polling Locations in Chicago Area

Just as voters flocked to polling places to cast their ballots on this Election Day, reports of problems trickled in. 

Several voters across the Chicago area began reporting trouble at their voting locations in the city, some suburbs and in northwest Indiana. 

Cook County Clerk David Orr said officials were working to fix issues in New Trier, Justice and Northlake.

Meanwhile, Chicago officials said they were working to fix issues at precincts in the 42nd Ward and the 5th Ward.

The Chicago Board of Elections confirmed it was going to court to ask a judge to extend voting hours in five precincts in the city. Details on which precincts could be extended weren't immediately clear. 

Spokesman James Allen also said he has received reports of numerous voters not receiving the second page of their ballots. 

Numerous voters in Chicago reported to ProPublica that they were missing pages on their ballots. Among the locations where reports surfaced were:

  • 2611 W 48th St.
  • 5249 S. Wabash Ave.
  • 1120 W. 122nd St.
  • 2417 W. 43rd St.
  • 1845 W. Rice St.
  • 1429 W. Wellington
  • 48th and Martin Luther King

Both in and out of Chicago, voters complained of polling places not opening on time. 

Many used social media to report potential problems: 

Polls opened at 6 a.m. CT across Illinois and will stay open through 7 p.m. 

While millions of people will cast their ballots without any problems, some may be challenged on their voting eligibility, experience voter intimidation, or have trouble at their polling place.

NBC 5 Chicago has partnered with ProPublica and other news organizations covering problems that prevent eligible voters from casting ballots.

Here is how you can participate:

  • SMS: Send the word VOTE, VOTA (for Spanish) or 投票 (for Chinese) to 81380 (standard text message rates apply).
  • WhatsApp: Send the word VOTE, VOTA (for Spanish) or 投票 (for Chinese) to 1-850-909-8683.
  • Facebook Messenger: Go to
  • Sign up using the form that’s embedded at the end of this post.

In 2016, the Electionland coalition went through thousands of tips from a legal call center hotline, as well as thousands of text messages and social media posts. Local journalists around the country reported 400 stories and helped bring attention to voting problems that were fixed before polls closed.

On the Issues: Candidates for Illinois Governor Answer 11 Questions

If you run into any issues at all, or even have questions about the process, you are also encouraged to call the Election Protection hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE (English only), 888-VE-Y-VOTA (English/Spanish) and 888-API-VOTE (English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Bengali, Hindi, Urdu and Tagalog).

The hotline is run by a nonpartisan coalition of more than 100 organizations, led by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. 

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