In a media update on Election Day, Chicago Board of Election Commissioners Director of Public Information Max Bever said that one of the most common issues on Election Day involved election judges “in about two dozen polling places” who were confused about handing both ballots to voters.

During the early morning hours of Election Day, some voters only received one ballot instead of two.

“There’s a Ballot A and a Ballot B as part of this election and there was some confusion in which only Ballot A was handed out first,” he said. 

Bever stressed that voters who left after filling out one ballot should call Election Central at 312-269-7870. 

“This would be the best way to help resolve this issue—not only to log it, but to talk to a lawyer or advocate,” he added. “We don’t recommend that a voter goes back to his polling place.”

He also said that there were problems with the type of writing instrument used, saying that the felt-tipped tips that judges hand out are preferred, as ballpoint pens can leave streaks or residue. 

Even though there may be some “bleed-through” regarding ballots, Bever said that the votes won’t be affected unless too much force is used.

Despite those hiccups, Bever emphasized that today’s opening of voting places “was relatively smooth, compared to the primary election on June 28 that led to 56 polling places being delayed in opening.” 

Today there were only a handful of delays. The polling spots were “much more fully staffed with election judges,” he said. There are approximately 7,000 such judges at polling places today.

The family member of a voter with issues accessing their polling place reached out to The TRiiBE on Instagram. Ashley Hall told The TRiiBE that her cousin and about 20 people were trying to vote from Deneen Elementary School in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood around 9:30 a.m., but couldn’t get inside to vote. 

Chicago Public Schools are closed today. Hall said she called the Chicago Board of Elections for assistance, but there was no answer. 

So instead, Hall’s cousin drove to two other voting sites and cast their ballot at Whitney Young Library in Chatham. 

This afternoon The TRiiBE traveled to Deneen Elementary School and spoke to Amber Roper, an election coordinator at the polling place, to find out if other voters were having issues accessing the site to vote. Roper said they hadn’t received any calls from voters needing assistance accessing the site or any calls from officials from the Chicago Board of Elections.

Roper said she and the others were let into the school at 5 a.m. on Tuesday by school maintenance workers and were set up in time for voters to cast their ballots at 6 a.m. Voting is taking place in the school’s gymnasium on the 7300 block of South Wabash Avenue. Roper said they placed signs on doors around the building and 72nd and State Street, the school’s main entrance, to direct voters. 

“All the signs were posted on the doors and at the main entrance. There was a note that said to come around to Wabash to door number nine or seven. Those signs were posted up way before six,” she explained.  

The TRiiBE observed voters entering and exiting the polling place from Wabash and the school’s parking lot. 

“Anxiety is high around this election and Chicago police are out on Election Day,” Bever said during the 12:30 p.m. news media update in response to a journalist’s question about safety.

“[The police are] not doing proactive check-ins on polling places but they are on call and have been made aware. But we do have our system of 400 election investigators, so we do ask people to reach out to Election Central. However, if there’s an immediate safety concern, then it would be safe to call 911.”

Bever also said that if people “have not seen their vote-by-mail ballots counted yet and you put it in the mail a few days ago or if you recently dropped it in a dropbox, you can reach out to us at or give us a call at 312-269-7967. We will then talk with that voter and see where it’s at.” 

He added that “we will be counting properly postmarked ballots through Nov. 22 but all ballots must be properly postmarked by Nov. 8. If people still have their ballots at home, we do NOT recommend putting them into mailboxes.” 

There are two ways people can still make their ballots count. They can take their ballots to one of 55 secure dropbox locations throughout the city that are open until 7 p.m. They’re at all 50 early-voting locations; one at the supersite at 191 N. Clark St.; one at the CBOE office at 69 W. Washington St.; and three at sports arenas—at Wrigley Field/Gallagher Way, at the United Center’s south atrium entrance and at the Wintrust Arena’s main entrance.

The other option is to take the ballots into a post office and ask that they be postmarked today. Putting them in USPS mailboxes won’t guarantee proper postmarking.

is the Digital News Editor for The TRiiBE.
is a multimedia reporter for The TRiiBE.