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Chicago Board of Elections

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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:53pm
Tue Mar 8, 2016

New Americans Hit The Polls In Chicago As Immigrant Advocates Gear Up For Anti-Trump Protest

A few dozen newly naturalized American citizens living in Chicago voted Tuesday afternoon for the first time in a U.S. election, casting ballots during the early voting period for the March 15 Illinois primary.

Representatives from the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) assisted the new Americans of Polish, Irish and Mexican descent in the naturalization and voter registration process.

ICIRR representatives led the group on a march in downtown Chicago that started at the Dirksen Federal Building, where the long-term immigrants were naturalized as new American citizens. Afterward, the group headed to the Chicago Board of Elections. There, the new Americans registered to vote and voted early.

"Fortunately, we have early voting and grace period registration to facilitate people who are just getting naturalized now a few days before the primary to be able to still have the opportunity to vote," said ICIRR's Fred Tsao. "It used to be that if you missed the voter registration deadline four weeks before the election, you were out of luck."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:03pm
Fri Oct 2, 2015

Chicagoans Speak Out On 2016 Budget With Progressive Aldermen At Town Hall Meeting

Chicagoans vented their frustrations over items in Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2016 budget proposal, including a record $588 million property tax hike, during a Thursday night town hall meeting hosted by the city council's Progressive Reform Caucus.

In addition to the proposed property tax increase, the three progressive caucus members at the meeting, Alds. Scott Waguespack (32nd), Nicholas Sposato (38th) and John Arena (45th), got an earful from residents about Emanuel's proposals to privatize the city's 3-1-1 non-emergency operations and increase fees on taxi cabs and ride-hailing services, like Uber and Lyft.

Emanuel wants to outsource 3-1-1 operations to save the cash-strapped city an estimated $1 million annually.

Debra Powell, a 3-1-1 operator of 10 years, said the privatization plan could cost 58 call center jobs and negatively impact the quality of service provided to Chicagoans.

"You don't know who you're going to be talking to when you call 3-1-1 and it's been outsourced," Powell said at the budget town hall meeting, held at the Copernicus Center on the Northwest Side. "I would rather speak with someone who lives in the city, born and raised, knows the neighborhoods. We have ... 58 operators there who live all across the city, ... so we pretty much can relate to all the residents calling in."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:32pm
Mon Oct 13, 2014

Chicagoans Push For Ward-Level Ballot Referendums On Elected School Board (VIDEO)

Although a citywide advisory referendum asking Chicagoans whether they support switching to an elected school board has been crowded off the ballot for a third time, education activists have a backup plan.

Parents, teachers and community groups are banding together to place a separate, non-binding question about an elected Chicago Board of Education on the February municipal ballot in each of the city's 50 wards. The coalition, which is unhappy with the policies endorsed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's handpicked school board, officially launched their ward-level referendum drive on Monday.

"While the mayor makes his moves by squashing democracy and disrespecting parents, we will make our moves by knocking on doors and by giving the people [the ability] to do the one thing the mayor's afraid of. We are going to give people the chance to vote for an elected school board," Action Now's Executive Director Katelyn Johnson said at the referendum drive's kick off, held in front of Ronald E. McNair Elementary School in the city's Austin neighborhood. (Back in April, the Chicago Board of Education voted to "turnaround" McNair, which involves firing and replacing all school staffers, to improve its academic performance.)

Quick Hit
by Nathan Greenhalgh
11:21pm
Tue Nov 6, 2012

Despite Confusion On Polling Places, Voters Hit The Booth To Make Their Voice Heard On Important Issues

The changing of a ward boundary earlier this year caused confusion at a Wicker Park polling station on Tuesday.

The switch primarily affected registered voters that were not informed of the boundary change, but came to the same polling station to vote as they did in the last election. Newly-registered voters had the correct polling station address mailed to them in their voter guides from the Chicago Board of Elections.

“We need to call the election board,” one poll worker at the 1649 W. LeMoyne Street station exclaimed after showing yet another voter the ward his residence now fell in.

“They’re coming back here because this is where they always voted. This was poor communication on the part of the election board,” Ken Jaszczar, an election official at the LeMoyne station, told Progress Illinois. “We have been very busy all day. I haven’t had time to eat dinner.”

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
6:21pm
Tue Nov 6, 2012

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.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
2:30pm
Mon Nov 5, 2012

New Polling Places Could Mean Confusion For Chicago Voters

The Chicago City Council’s remap of its 50 wards this year means new polling places for Chicago residents looking to cast their ballots tomorrow.

“It is going to be an issue for some of our voters who don’t check their polling places,” acknowledged Langdon Neal, chairman for the Chicago Board of Election at a press conference this morning. “If you do not follow the instructions and you don’t check your polling place, you cannot vote.”

Neal said that Chicago voters uncertain about where to vote tomorrow can call the Chicago Board of Elections at 312-269-7870 and “we can tell you where to go.”

Windy City voters may also text message their street address to 312-361-8846 to get their polling place. For example, the common address number then street format of 1234 W. 56th St. would produce a reply text with a polling place.

Neal gave these nitty-gritty logistics at a press conference intended to promote the success of early voting in Chicago and suburban Cook County. Neal and Cook County Clerk Orr say the percentage of registered voters who participated in early balloting this year set a new record.

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