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Voting in River Forest and Oak Park was heavy early Tuesday morning, as a steady stream of voters trekked into polling places. The majority of River Forest‘s 15 precincts and Oak Park‘s 58 precincts saw heavier than usual traffic between the polls opening at and

A few polling places, including the River Forest Village Hall and Barrie Center in South Oak Park, were not particularly busy.

There were a few reported voting problems. Josh Gershenson of
Oak Park said he had to ask for help from elections staff while voting at the 7th precinct at Hatch School.

“The electronic (touch screen) machine literally wouldn’t let me vote for a Democrat,” he said. “A click next to Obama’s name put a check mark by McCain’s name.”

Gershenson said when he informed staff, he got a mixed reaction. “A lady official was warm and nice and wanted to do something,” he said. “A guy in a mustache didn’t want to do anything.”

Gershenson said he managed to cope with the balky technology.

“I made sure of my votes before I left. But it was a big pain.”

Courtney Greve of the Cook County Clerk’s office said her office hadn’t been informed of the problem in the 7th precinct, but would give the precinct a call. She confirmed there were two other reported problems in
Oak Park early Tuesday.

“One polling place opened late,” she said. Only one judge showed up at the 44th precinct at the
Oak Park Arms Senior Citizen Center, delaying the start of voting until In the 38th precinct at the Oak Park Senior Center/RUSH Oak Park Hospital on the 500 block of

South Maple Avenue
, a malfunctioning touch screen machine had to be replaced.

“Things in Oak Park are looking good,” Greve said.

Other polling places saw heavy traffic. Over 25 people lined up outside the
River Forest Methodist Church on the 7900 block of

Lake Street
, which houses the 4th and 12th precincts.

A line of 75 to 80 people snaked out the front doors at
Oak Park‘s Mann School, which hosts the 4th and 5thOak Park precincts. Around the block at Field Center, over 20 people stood outside waiting to vote in  the 46th precinct.

In the 2nd and 3rd precincts at St. Gile’s
Gleeson Building on Columbian Avenue over 50 people stood in a stairwell and hallway waiting to enter the gymnasium, where another 30 people were either signing for their ballot or voting.

Unconfirmed reports had the wait at the Oak Park Conservatory (6th, 31st precincts) around at one  hour and 40 minutes.

Please use the article comment form below to let Wednesday Journal know of any polling places with problems. Wednesday Journal wil stay on top of these situations and continue to update our Web site to keep you informed.

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