CHICAGO (CBS) — One precinct in Chicago didn’t have any election judges when the Northwest Side polling place opened Tuesday morning.
A 39th Ward polling place at 6100 N. Central Ave. turned away several voters Tuesday morning because none of the assigned election judges showed up before polls opened at 6 a.m.
Chicago Board of Election Commissioners Chairwoman Marisel Hernandez said the election coordinator showed up but not the five election judges, so the board has been forced to find backups.
“Unfortunately, none of the judges arrived on time, and at this time we’re still attempting to get a new crew of judges there,” Hernandez said. “We do have a team. We have extra judges, and we’re getting the team together. And hopefully as we speak they are there.”
Hernandez said the board has contacted many of the people who were turned away, and those people indicated they will be able to return before the polls close at 7 p.m. As of 10:30 a.m., election officials were not sure if they would need to ask a judge to order that polling place to stay open late to accommodate voters who were turned away.
Meantime, turnout so far has been very low, with only about 65,000 people casting ballots during the first three hours polls were open. As of about 11 a.m., total turnout (with early voting, mail-in voting, and Election Day voting included) was approximately 17.5 percent. Election board officials were hoping for larger turnout Tuesday afternoon and evening before the polls close.
Hernandez said overall turnout for millennial voters, including early votes, also has been very low.
“They are the ones that are voting the least in this election,” she said. “At this time, there’s only been 30,000 millennials who have come out to vote. So we’re hoping, at the end of the day, at the end of their work day, they will come out and make a difference.”
For the first round of the citywide elections, turnout was 35 percent, the lowest turnout since 2007 when it was 33 percent as Richard M. Daley won his sixth and final term.
By comparison, the last time there was a mayoral race without an incumbent on the ballot, in 2011, turnout was 42 percent in the mayor’s race, as Rahm Emanuel won his first term without needing a runoff.