Quick Hit Matthew Blake Tuesday November 6th, 2012, 6:21pm

Down For The Day, Chicago Board Of Election Site Back Up

The Chicago Board of Elections Web site was down for the majority of today amid some confusion about what polling places voters should cast their ballot.

The Web site was back up as of 5 p.m., or two hours prior to polls closing.

A call and e-mail to Board of Elections spokesman Jim Allen this afternoon was not immediately returned.

The Board of Elections has not dealt with their Web site crashing before, reports WBEZ. “The Chicago Election Board Web site is getting deluged with unprecedented levels of traffic including what we believe are outside voter-service organizations,” Allen said in a statement, according to WBEZ.

Allen told PI in an e-mail yesterday that the Web site was one component of outreach to voters about their new polling place, along with mass mailing and voters texting their street address to 312-361-8846.

Based on anecdotes from polling places and this reporter using the service, the texting method worked throughout the day.

New polling precincts went into effect when the city ward remap was made official this summer. “I have had several people that had 15 to 20 years voting here and then all of a sudden they were supposed to vote somewhere else and they had no idea,” says Chris Barrett, a poll watcher in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood and volunteer for Ald. Joe Moreno (1st).

Barrett described the Board of Elections as “pretty bogged down”, but eventually responsive to questions about where people should vote.

Suburban Cook County put in their new polling places before the March primary and voters are not experiencing similar confusion, according to Courtney Greve, spokeswoman for Cook County Clerk David Orr. “We did a redistricting and we are done with that,” Greve says.

According to Greve, Orr has reported “steady turnout” and says, “It’s been a good day” with only minor complaints from poll watchers and election judges.

Neither Cook County nor Chicago, though, produces turnout figures until after the polls close.


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