Chicago Officials Urge Voters to Check Polling Places Due to Reshaped, Reduced Precincts – NBC Chicago
Election Day is less than a month away, and thousands of Chicago voters are being urged to ensure that they know where their polling places are after significant changes were made to the city’s precinct maps.
Under a new precinct map released earlier this year, the Chicago Board of Elections announced that it would reduce its number of precincts to 1,290 across the city’s 50 wards. That represents a reduction of nearly 38% from the 2,069 precincts that existed in the old map, according to officials.
The new map puts an average number of precincts to 26 per ward, and boosts the average number of voters per precinct to 1,165, up from an average of 550-to-750 under the old system.
As a result, thousands of voters will potentially have been moved into different precincts or even different wards, and their polling places may have changed due to the redrawn maps.
According to CBOE officials, polling places are still being finalized, and voters will receive new voter registration cards informing them of their new ward and precinct information.
Voters can also visit the CBOE website for the latest information.
Officials say that the reduction in precincts will not equal a similar drop in the number of polling places. During the 2022 primary, there were 1,043 polling places in the city, with many covering two or even three different precincts.
The reduction in precincts will allow officials to reduce the number of election judges needed at each site.
“No one wants to see a delayed opening for a polling place or an empty judges’ table on Election Day,” Max Bever of the CBOE said in a statement. “This recent precinct consolidation allows the board to train a smaller pool of election judges and coordinators, and for election central to provide more support to poll workers’ and voters’ needs on election day.”
Officials also cited a reduction in in-person, day-of-election voting in the primary, with more than 50% of voters either casting ballots via the mail or through early voting throughout the city.