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Few Problems, Few Voters Reported At Polls

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Voter turnout was low in Chicago Tuesday morning. (Credit: CBS)

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UPDATED 03/20/12 12:24 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — It appears that if you don’t have a lot of voters, you don’t have a lot of problems.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, election judges in the city are reporting slow going, with very few voters and a few minor glitches. Chicago Board of Election Commissioners spokesman Jim Allen says the Chicago area will not be setting any records on this Illinois Primary Election Day, except maybe on the low side.

City officials are not making any predictions for voter turnout, but many election judges are reporting that just one to three voters in total came in during the first half hour of the morning.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

Cook County Clerk David Orr said he was predicting 20 to 25 percent turnout in the suburbs Monday, but he now expects that figure to be lower based on the sparse morning turnout.

But Orr said the unusually warm weather is pleasing to poll watchers working outside. He says instead of freezing, they’re “happy as clams.”

For the most part, the glitches included missing or improperly working equipment – problems that are not out of the ordinary.

But at one precinct in the 44th precinct of the 2nd Ward on the city’s South Side, voters experienced far greater frustration. Upon arriving at their usual polling place at a church at 36th Street and Calumet Avenue, they found a sign directing them to the Martin Luther King Jr. Branch Library, a couple of blocks away at 3436 S. King Dr.

The new polling place had its own problems. A moving company made a mistake, and failed to deliver voting equipment so it could be used when the polls opened.

Residents were not pleased.

“My concern is for the numerous voters that have to come in at 6 in the morning and vote due to their employment. What were they to do? What’s going to happen?” said voter Ernest Love. “Now this is March. What’s going to happen in November?”

Voters were able to start casting their ballots at the library around 8:45 a.m. Depending on how many people were unable to vote, the Board of Elections might go to court to keep the polling place open longer.

But voters must complain to the board for that to happen, 2 Investigator Pam Zekman reports.

Some minor problems were also reported in the suburbs. A power outage in Wheeling prompted election judges to pull out paper ballots.

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