Voters Report Problems at Chicago Polling Locations

Problems ranged from closed polling locations to inoperable voting machines to missing ballot pages

Voters reported a spate of problems around the Chicago area — from closed polling locations to inoperable voting machines to missing ballot pages — soon after voting kicked off at 6 a.m.

"No election officials. No keys to supplies," voter Mark Nunez wrote to NBC Chicago. "I had to catch a plane, so I will not be able to vote. Very frustrated."

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At a polling location on East Wacker Drive, voters Nunez and Ben Kaplan said election workers were not ready for voters. 

“We ran into a number of issues,” Chicago Board of Elections spokesman Jim Allen said, adding that there were staffing issues at some locations because only one or a few judges were present.

One location had to be forced open because it was still closed at 6 a.m.

At Yates School, at 1826 N. Francisco Ave., in Chicago's 1st Ward, voter Kim Lewis said the polling place didn't open until 8 a.m.

"We all had to vote provisional," she said.

Election staffers had to force open a polling location inside Leona's Restaurant, at 6935 N. Sheridan Road, because the restaurant's owner wasn't there. Election officials said that location would remain open for an extra hour, until 8 p.m., because of the delay.

Problems with electronic voting machines were reported at several other locations, including at the Patrick Sullivan Building, at 1633 W. Madison Street, at Robert Black North School, at 7133 S. Coles Ave., and at Francis W. Parker School, at 330 W. Webster Ave.

"Election central not answering and we can't vote right now. People leaving saying their vote will be missed," Matt Haydock told NBC Chicago via Twitter.

Haydock later said voters were able to use "old school paper forms."

In Chicago's 47th Ward, voter Patrick Farrell said he was not given the portion of his ballot that included the non-binding questions. The same thing happened to Melanie Baker, who tried to vote at Jesse Owens Community Academy, at 12302 S. State St.

Allen said he wasn't aware of any instance where full ballots weren't given.

In the 43rd Ward, Twitter user Theresa reported that voters were being turned away from the Commonwealth Apartments, at 2757 N. Pine Grove Ave., "due to untrained volunteers."

Voters who wish to file a complaint or report any voting irregularities should call 312-269-7870.

Illinois General Election Guide 2014

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