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Chicago Area Voters Can Use Smartphones To Prepare For Election

Smart phone (CBS)

Smart phone (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Both the Cook County Clerk and the Chicago Board of Elections have redesigned their websites so voters can prepare for the election with their smartphones.

WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports both agencies, which together oversee voting procedures in Chicago and suburban Cook County, have set up their websites so voters can use their smartphones to check if they’re registered to vote, where their polling place is located, and what the sample ballot looks like.

Cook County Clerk David Orr said he’s trying to remove every possible barrier to legal balloting, by making his office’s website, cookcountyclerk.com, more accessible.

“Anybody now can take their smartphone and look up to see if they’re registered, they can find out where their polling place is, there’s a map to get to their polling place, and they can see their virtual ballot,” he said.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

Orr acknowledged it’s not strictly a free-standing smartphone app, but he said it does the trick for those who want to use their smartphones to get ready for the upcoming election.

“You know, Pew [Research Center], that great organization did a study, and about half of all Americans are using smartphones now, and we want to make it as convenient for people to find out what they need to know,” Orr said.

The Chicago Board of Elections has set up a similar system at chicagoelections.com.

Board spokesman Jim Allen said voters can simply use their smartphones to access the website, and enter their last name and address, and “we’ll show you your voter status, your polling place … the status of any absentee ballot you’ve applied for.”