UPDATED: Problems Arise At Polling Places

Updated 02/22/11 – 11:31 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Elections officials fielded thousands of complaints as voters went to the polls in the election for mayor and City Council seats on Tuesday, though only a handful were for serious issues.

As 2 Investigator Pam Zekman reports, one complaint that underscores some of the tension at the polling places alleges that an Illinois state representative was involved in a physical confrontation at a 45th Ward polling place.

A voter there claimed State Rep. Joseph Lyons used foul language and obscene gestures, then chest butted and hit a precinct poll watcher who had complained about illegal electioneering.

Lyons admitted he bumped into a poll watcher who got in his way at the polling place, but denied hitting him.

Chicago police were called about the incident, but the victim declined to press charges.

Meantime, two election judges were kicked out of polling places and another got into an argument with firefighters who were hosting the polling place.

Chicago Board of Elections Chairman Langdon Neal said that, at a polling place inside a firehouse, an election judge felt the space was “too cozy or not comfortable enough, and asked the firemen to remove the fire trucks from the firehouse and park them on the street.”

The firemen refused to remove the fire trucks, and when a dispute arose, the judge walked out and abandoned work, Neal said.

“Our judge has now been removed by the board,” Neal said.

Two judges were removed from polling places on Tuesday for showing up drunk. In one case, the judge showed up drunk in the South Side’s 17th Ward. The other judges noticed alcohol on a judge’s breath, and by the time an investigator arrived, the judge had been removed.

Another judge showed up drunk at a polling place in the 11th Ward. An investigator from the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners noticed a smell of booze on an election judge at a fire station polling place near 35th and Lowe.

Earlier in the day, another judge was yanked for showing up to a polling place intoxicated.

Also Tuesday morning, the Chicago Embassy Church, at 5848 S. Princeton Ave. in the 20th Ward, was still setting up voting booths and machines two hours after the polls opened.

Polling administrator Adrienne Nelson said at 6 a.m. when the polling place was supposed to open, the pastor who had the keys was nowhere to be found.

“If you’re not going to cooperate with the procedure, you shouldn’t volunteer your place,” Nelson said.

Neal said after investigating, the Board of Elections will ask the Cook County clerk’s office to keep the polling place open late. The board will also contact voters who might have been turned away find out if they can come back during the later hours, Neal said.

And there were dozens of electioneering complaints — not just for signs within 100 feet of a polling place, one of the most typical electioneering problems. Some supporters got creative, wearing their candidate’s name on shirts and hats inside polling places.

With ice on sidewalks and snow falling steadily, polling was a little slower than normal on Tuesday.

Neal said that election officials were hoping to get better than 50 percent turnout, but Neal said late Tuesday afternoon that turnout was expected to be about 40 percent unless more voters came out between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., when the polls close.

  • Barack

    Ahhhh…. Election Day in Chicago, where the jails are full and the ghost voting is easy.

    • smokehouse56

      Agree with you. Chicago is nothing more than a banana republic. The blacks and liberals keep voting in Dems and still remain on the plantation. What suckers. Chicago is a huge wasteland and cesspool of political corruption.

      • Detroit Suburb

        When the taxpayers leave, you’re ‘left’ with Detroit, but still have to pay for the decimated city. Pardon the ‘left’ Dumbocrat pun.

      • Beneteau

        They do love the plantation! Wasn’t it a Ag Sec some time ago who said all they need is something to eat and a warm plance to sh…..!

      • Incitatus

        America is following behind on the same highway. We can have multiculturalism or we can have freedom. We cannot have both.

      • wildoo

        secret is: they like the plantation

      • Alice Polarbear

        What happens when all the responsible people,the ones who actually work and pay taxes, flee Chicago?

      • hempstead1944

        And those are some of the more attractive features of Chicago politics…

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/02/22/voters-head-to-polls-on-election-day/ Chicago Voters Head To Polls « CBS Chicago

    […] Early on, some polling places ran into problems, in one case right from the start. […]

  • votetwice

    Well put, I think all polling places should be on youtube….the ratings would go through the roof.

  • http://topsy.com/chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/02/22/problems-arise-at-polling-places/?utm_source=pingback&utm_campaign=L2 Tweets that mention Problems Arise At Polling Places « CBS Chicago -- Topsy.com

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by CBS 2 Chicago and WBBM Newsradio 780, CBS Chicago. CBS Chicago said: Problems Arise At Polling Places http://goo.gl/fb/hlVRG […]

  • Burt

    another “Daily” in Chgo?

  • RTK

    Ah, Chicago… As an ancient Middle Westerner I remember… The Kelly-Nash machine… then the first Daly machine… then the second Daly machine….Now Emanuel can build his own machine, constructed of U. of Chicago left-liberal academic intellectuals, labor leadeers, old SDS-ers, and their friends… How will that work? It’s not working very well in the White House. It may make even the antique Kelly-Nash machine look good. Is there a youthful third Daly waiting in the wings?

    • Stephen R Schroeder


    • Clueless Chicago

      Typical Chicago politics. Crook County and Chicago really needs to clean itself up.
      It has been breeding the worst style politicians we have ever seen. Wise up Chicago, you are known as the biggest joke of America with how you elect your politicians. Mayors, Governors and Community organizers that are crooks.

      • Alice Polarbear

        Louisiana might be equally bad.


    Chicago is going down the same old road. Emanuel is a dupe that will be led around by the machine. Sorry day Chicago, you get what you sow.

    • Sad Sacks

      You missed it, Old Geezer. All this time, the “Emanuel” gang has been and is still “the machine.” Now they’ve networked NY & IL, and DC. The Chicago southsiders will obey and never understand that the motto “Lean Forward” simply tells them to “Bend Over” and they prove compliance “over” and “over.”

  • gram

    Actually the drunks sound like the only people who knew what the hell they were doing..

  • pomoc

    There is not a problem it is normal .As in california people get what they deseve. In chacago they elected a garbage man to run the city. You know what they say when a fool wants to be a fool just stand back and watch.

  • l.turon

    People of Chicago are just stuck on stupid.

  • scottm1207

    Just another day in Crook County

  • Mark Matis

    So just exactly WHERE were “Chicago’s Finest”? Oh, never mind. NOW I remember Sittin’ at the donut shops swillin’ coffee. But ready in an INSTANT to get ANYONE who might stop The Chosen One from getting “elected”.

    May they rot where they belong for what they have done. The stench is overwhelming. And it smells like pig..

  • Chisux

    Election Day in Chicago AKA THe Day of the Living Dead.

  • John

    @Gerald Spencer and @N

    Gerald your idea is moronic. What I’m sure you don’t know is that Blizzard, the company that makes World of Warcraft, wanted to put people’s real names that posted on the forums (or at least what they signed up the game with). This led to huge numbers of postings from both sides of the debate.

    It all finally came to a head when the Pro- people posted their real names (and only their names) and said do your worst. One person’s entire list was basically posted within 10 minutes.

    By simply Googling the name and World of Warcraft people found his Facebook page. From there people looked at his friend list, found his girlfriend (who’s Facebook wasn’t locked down) and posted everything about her.
    Following that people used her page to find more about him. They found his street address, his parent’s street address, other friends, etc and posted Google Street View maps to their actual street addresses.
    Then people went further, finding his phone number, college he attended and started working on pulling his education and work history.

    Overall is was not pretty and from the time he posted his name to _ALL_ this being out there was a mere 15 minutes.

    So please don’t tell me to put my real name. I’ll happily give the site my E-mail address so the FBI or what not could track me if I posted threats; but please, I’m not going to give you my real name when you could be a nutjob with a gun.

    • Nutjob with a gun

      Dang. You’re too clever for me.

    • Cyanna

      I also played World of Warcraft during this time and on our server forums we had a discussion about just this. Some guy obnoxiously challenged me to “post his ssn” on the forums. I’m not stupid – I wasn’t going to get banned. I did, however, google his character name + the server name which led me to a facebook page where he posted who he was on the server – under his real name. From there it took me all of 1 minute to find his address. Dummy didn’t lockdown his wall posts, so I started copying that into my new message along with non-specifics (left out street address) of his whereabouts.
      People are stupid. Guard your stuff, people.Think before you shoot off at the mouth, you never know if someone will just prove you wrong or show up at your door with a loaded projectile.

  • Yitzhak Shamir

    Oh, so what you’re trying to point out is that Rahm Emanuel is Jewish and you hate Jews? Ah, ok, because your post has a rather roundabout, cowardly way of saying that….why is it that the worst kind of people often lack even the most modest of balls?

    • Guess Who

      I’ll say it bluntly: Jews are destroying America. Are you satified now?

      • Au2Go2

        Obama , and the Daleys, and I know Deadfish IS, sheesh never new the Kenyan, and the Daley slobs were also.

      • Buck A. Roobob

        Guess Who, I think you made a typo in your post. Didn’t you mean “Obama is destroying America”?

      • Rowdy Boots

        You fool.

        Your kind of ignorance is rampant today. Why? Because your left wing education system taught you to be a racist bigot.


      • borntobePolitical

        If ignorance is bliss, you must be ecstatic.

  • Norton Burgess

    Rahm – Hey Barry, this was fun but I want my own gig.
    O’Bummer – Sure Rahmmy, what can I get ‘ya?
    Rahmmy – Well, Daly’s out…. I want Chicago…
    Barry- No problem, let me give him a call. Congrats little buddy!!

  • dave

    Definition of insanity: Expecting different results from the same behavior. Chicago, you need to see a professional.

  • Hank Warren

    Rahm is dual citizen garbage who supports endless Wars for Israel, it all started nearly a decade ago under a false flag attack.
    9/11 and Israel, here:

  • John

    He’ll bankrupt the city by giving the unions everything they want. Watch.

    • tubaman

      you can bet the city on it

      • Disappointed Chicgoan


        The voters of Chicago have,

  • JR

    Hey, it’s the Chicago Way. Glad as hell that I don’t live there, and never intend on doing so. From the same city that gave us “hopeenchange”….good luck with that!

  • George G

    I wonder if all those dead people they found stacked up in that mass grave last week voted for Rahm.

  • Armed Texan

    Chicago’s ne slogan:

    We’re not Detroit, but we’re trying!

    • Golden

      Try as Chicago might, Detroit will be hard to catch. Closing half the schools and creating 60+ students per class is a formula for chaos.

  • satch

    Chicago, ——the next Detroit.

  • Culture_Skeptic

    What’s been illegal and immoral in a post? Some examples please.

  • luckydog

    Time to flush Chicago.

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