Today was my first experience voting as an Illinois resident and I learned an important lesson about stereotypical Chicago voting behavior…
As if Chicago doesn’t have a bad enough reputation of rampant voter fraud and shady election practices, my first impression of how Chicago (in particular, Oak Park, IL) approaches the experience did nothing but reinforce those old stereotypes.
Upon arriving at my polling place I approached the sign-in table and the election judge requested my name. She quickly found my record and I signed in; no problems so far. The election judge then asked me if I preferred a paper or touch-screen ballot and while she took a second to prepare the one I requested I asked if they wanted to see my Voter Identification Card and/or Photo ID.
She said, “No that’s okay, we don’t need to see it.” After blinking in silence for a few seconds I looked at another election judge standing next to the table who just smiled at me and said “We trust you, you have an honest face.”
At which point they handed me my ballot and I cast my vote. Not once throughout this entire process did an election official ever bother to verify my Photo ID or ensure that I had an Illinois state issued Voter Identification Card.