CHICAGO (CBS) — The sprinkler system went off Tuesday afternoon inside a polling place in the West Town neighborhood, but city election officials said so far there are no damaged ballots.
CBS 2’s Megan Hickey reports the sprinklers went off inside James Otis School, 525 N. Armour St. Tuesday afternoon.
UPDATE: City says it was a sprinkler system that went off.
As of now, no ballots have been deemed damaged. @cbschicago
— Megan Hickey (@MeganHickeyTV) November 3, 2020
Poll workers were able to push a lot of the voting equipment out of the way, but there was a lot of standing water on the floor by the time firefighters arrived. Crews were able to shut off the sprinkler system, and removed a lot of water from the ground.
A poll worker said the room was very hot, she heard a hissing sound, and a ton of water started spraying the room where ballots were being cast.
“The room was like a shower,” Kathy Pittman said. “Of course I was in shock.”
Poll workers estimated only about 100 or so ballots were cast at that polling place on Tuesday. They were headed back to survey the damage and see what they need to do at this point.
As of 5:10 p.m., officials said no ballots have been deemed damaged.
The polling place was supposed to stay open until 7 p.m., but officials were redirecting voters to the Goldblatt’s Building at 1615 W. Chicago Av.
This is a developing story
Notice to voters in Prec 37, Ward 1:
Thru 7 p.m., vote at Goldblatt's Bldg, 1615 W Chicago Av
Sprinkler System flooded precinct polling space at Otis School.
The Board is working to recover the ballots.
— ChicagoElection (@ChicagoElection) November 3, 2020