5th Ward Voting Problems

By: Tina Stein
By: Tina Stein

It's a mix of old-timers and new comers, but today these election judges all had one thing in common. On their watch, some voters were turned away from the polls.

"Whoever was supposed to open the door wasn't here," says election judge Kather Alexander.

The doors were locked at the Fountain of Life Academy polling station this morning, resulting in a forty-minute delay in opening. So voters who showed up before going to work, had no choice but to come back.

"The two people that came say they always vote first they always want to be first or second to vote so they're a little upset but they eventually did come back to vote again," says election judge Angie Levingston.

A security officer says he left a stopper in the door for the judges, and is sorry his tactic didn't work.

"It was a job for me to do and it was a job that anyone could have did but none wants to take initiative so somebody had to do that job and I was the somebody that supposed to open the doors so I'm taking the blame," says Eric Gary, who left the door locked.

Three election Commissioners and an attorney debated for most of the morning whether they would force the polling station to stay open for an additional forty minutes. But since all who showed up have voted, the judges will be able to close shop on time.

The Executive Director of the Rockford Board of Elections says she's relieved not as many voters turned out during the six o'clock hour. Because then the Board of Commissioners would need a court order to extend voting hours, which could have delayed vote results.


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