CHICAGO (CBS)– It’s Primary Election Day in Illinois and polling places are working to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
While officials are telling Americans to avoid groups of 10 or more, some polling places expect to see hundreds of voters waiting in line at a time.READ MORE: Mayor Lightfoot Delays General Iron Permit To Move To South Side Over EPA Concerns
There was no election equipment when polls opened at a voting site on Superior Street in River North, election workers told CBS 2 Tuesday morning.
“The city is just understaffed,” Election coordinator, Lauri Ogden, said.
She said the people who were deliver their site’s equipment did not show up. And they weren’t alone, on 70th Street in Grand Crossing neighborhood, tools need to cast ballots were also absent.
Victor Rodriguez, an election judge, was not given proper information.
“I got no kind of information whatsoever,” Rodriguez said. “I should’ve been informed or something, tell me something instead of me waking up early and wasting my time getting here. That’s what really upsets me.”
Election judge Doug Brooks was hoping Governor JB Pritzker would delay Illinois’ primary.
#IllinoisPrimary is underway with polls officially open.
Concerns over #coronavirus could overshadow election.
— Eric Cox (@EricCoxTV) March 17, 2020READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Rain Saturday Ahead Of Chilly Mother's Day
He’s already set up his polling place at Colletti’s Italian restaurant in Jefferson Park.
Brooks is fulfilling his obligation short-handed too. He was supposed to be one of five election judges. He says one of only two are planning to show up.
Many election judges are choosing to sit out the primary because of the coronavirus and the idea of how many people will be in one place.
Cook County normally has 8,000 judges. As of Tuesday morning, only 5,600 are signed up.
Brooks also said his set-up package only included one small bottle of Purell hand sanitizer, for hundreds of voters, for the entire day.
“I’m so torn over this,” Brooks said. “I said I’d be there and I really am strong about fulfilling commitments. I also feel really strong about the position of election judge and the privilege we have in this country to be able to vote.”
At some sites, signs were left informing voters the location is closed.
State officials announced polling places , especially nursing homes and senior centers – could be closed.
The polls close at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Voters are encouraged to cast their ballots by mail, but it has to be postmarked today.