Can I just take a moment to say how important it is for voters to turn out for this primary?
Turnout is expected to be very low - and with Fritchey, Feigenholtz and Quigley set to split the Democratic field, economist Charlie Wheelan or labor lawyer Tom Geoghegan could slip in with enough support.
While the fields are not as large in the Republican and Green Party primaries, every vote will definitely count, whichever ballot you choose.
(Speaking of which, there have been some problems in recent elections with Green Party ballots being ‘unavailable’ or placed out of sight/off the judges’ table. If you’re a Green, make sure to get your proper ballot; they should at all polling places.
And all fair-minded voters should have a check to make sure that their judges are providing equal opportunities to all parties. You can ask even if you’re not taking a Green ballot.)
For the record, I’m supporting Charlie Wheelan. He’s a economics and public policy prof down at U of C. As such, he’s a political outsider in Chicago (yay!), as well as one of the most progressive/lefty Democrats in the field.
If you’re still making up your mind, I suggest having a look at his website. If you’ve already made up your mind, great!
Check your registration, Chicago residents and suburban Cook County residents. If your status is ‘Inactive’ call 312.269.7936 to resolve the issue and be prepared to bring your driver’s license to the polling place.
Polls are open tomorrow, March 3rd, from 6am until 7pm. You must vote at your polling place, not at the early voting sites. Your polling place listed on your voter card or you can check online.
If you are in line at 7pm, you must be allowed to vote. Do not be turned away. If your workday spans the entirety of open polling times, your employer must give you two hours off to vote.
Various Chicago voting nonsense: If you have voted in your polling place before and are in the signature book (a white slip with your signature on the left side) - you are not required to show ID. It’s always a good thing to bring along in case of a canvas challenge, but - as a voter - you are allowed to speak to other voters and to question a judge who asks for ID from a voter in the book with a white slip.
During the 2008 election, my judge insisted on seeing ID and then yelled at me when I refused. We had to call the BoE, but the argument continued, with her loudly abusing me the entire time I voted. It was a miserable experience for me, but I know the law and was helped by good BoE employees.
It may sound like a minor issue, but many lower-income and older residents don’t have IDs (and may not return to vote if turned away by ignorant/poorly trained/corrupt election judges). It is illegal for election judges to require white-slip voters to produce ID. If you see abuse, please bring it (politely) to the attention of the judge. If they respond poorly, stick to your guns and call the BoE. It is your right as a voter. And it’s your vote.
While we’re talking about proper voting procedures - this is the proper order of things at the polling place.
- Your give your name and your application should be located in the book.
- You sign your application.
- It is checked against your signature in the book (white slips).
- Your application is then removed, exchanged for a ballot, and placed on the spindle.
You should NOT be given your application before your signature is checked. You should NOT have to ‘check in’ with a partisan pollwatcher beforehand. Partisan pollwatchers should NOT be sitting at the table with election judges.
Report any and all irregularities to the Board of Elections (312.269.7870/312-269-7900).