I served as an election judge in the 20th precinct in Oak Park. The new equipment was not working from the very beginning, even before the polls opened. At night after polls closed, equipment did not work.

Before the next election in November, training definitely needs to be done in classes, but the classes will need to be in groups of 15-20, versus 50-75, so each person can have hands-on training for each part of the work that needs to be done, and be sure each person understands all parts of the job that needs to be done, including what needs to be done during the day, as well as opening and closing the polls with new equipment. The one piece of equipment that was least troublesome was the Touch Screen, but when we tried to send results at the end of the day, we ran into problems.

When called with a report of trouble, the Cook County Clerk should have persons ready who show up at the polling place and make sure the judges will not have any more problems. If they had anyone, noone ever showed up at our place.

The regular ballots had staples in the pad of 25 ballots that made it a sure thing that trouble would be had when the ballots were put through the Optical Scanner. Yes, this was a new system, but measures should have been in place that assisted the judges rather than making them wonder why they decided to be a judge.

We needed to be at the polling place at 5 a.m. and did not leave our place till 9 p.m. and then had to take equipment to the receiving station. That is a long day for $150.

Joel Sheffel
Oak Park

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