Election Day is finally here! You know what that means, at midnight on Nov. 6 we should have no more political campaign ads on the airwaves. We can finally watch TV again! Hurray! But before we get ahead of ourselves (remember recounts?), let's talk about Election Day voting procedures in Chicago to make sure nothing goes wrong (at least here).
Firstly, despite there being an exorbitant amount of polling places in Chicago (here's the FULL list), you can only vote at the one that is designated to you based on your place of residence. Chicago did remap its wards, so it is a good idea to double check here to see where you have to go to vote.
Secondly, all polling places in Chicago will be open on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the General Election. Be prepared for long lines though, but don't let that deter you. You are not just voting for President (thought about voting for a third party candidate?) but also for 1) pension reform, 2) electricity aggregation, and 3) an elected school board.
Thirdly, there is no on-site voter registration. Only people who registered by Oct. 9, 2012 are eligible to vote on Election Day.
Fourthly, if there are any issues at your polling place (i.e. registration, equipment, electioneering, etc.) You should contact the city's Election Central hotlines at 312-268-7870.
Lastly, as a precaution, some people who meet the below requirements might have to place a provisional ballot. The requirements are:
- No registration record found in the precinct;
- Voter is challenged and the judges uphold the challenge;
- First time mail-in registrant who is required to provide ID but does not have proper ID.
If on Election Day, you meet any of those requirements, you can cast a Provisional Ballot at your precinct. However, if it is cast in the wrong precinct, that ballot will not be counted. Voters then have until 5 p.m. Nov. 8 to submit any supporting documents to the Election Board to prove that they are valid registered voters in the precinct where they cast their Provisional Ballots, and have their vote counted.
What happens to your ballot until you can prove your residency? It is separated from others cast on Election Day. After Election Day, Board employees evaluate provisional ballot applications in a public process and determine whether they can be released into the general count.