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.
Perhaps I should go to a different polling place and vote again; after all, I have an honest face. Maybe I can bring my cat along so he can cast a vote, he has an honest face too…
3 thoughts on “Chicago Voting Rant”
Well, Drew, you DO have an honest face. And, maybe, they figured if you gave your name and they found you listed and you signed your name, correctly, that they could trust you. By the way, were the elections officials older ladies?
It wasn’t the best way to ensure a fair election, but it’s rather refreshing that they trusted you. Like the olden days…..
The state requires you to display voter ID card and the poll workers didn’t enforce that? Oy.
I should note, however, that the matter of voter ID is complicated, and traditionally they’ve been used to harrass “undesirable” voters.
Margaret: one judge looked to be a middle age gentleman and the other was perhaps in her 50’s.
Lisa: I thought they should have checked my ID too, I’ve always had that happen in every other election where I’ve voted, even in primary’s.
I know it’s tough to find and train election judges but this seemed a bit egregious, especially since I asked if they wanted to see the ID.
Maybe this is just a sign I should go to Vegas for the weekend…