Massive election judge shortage causes polling places to close


A voter fills in a ballot in the presidential primary election at the the Summit View Church of the Nazarene Tuesday, March 10, 2020, in Kansas City, Mo. The polling place served two precincts as voters who were scheduled to vote at a nearby senior living facility were directed to vote at the church after the facility backed out due to coronavirus concerns. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Several polling places across the county will be closed for the primary election on Tuesday.

The Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons made the announcement late Monday night, the day before the election. He says these closings are because of a massive shortage of election judges this year. Usually there are between 325-350 election judges for the primary. This year there are about 100 less than normal.

Here is a list of places that are closed and alternative polling locations where you can vote.

  • Ogden Rose Library CLOSED
    • Alternate location: St. Joe Prince of Peace Church
  • Tolono West Fire Station CLOSED
    • Alternate location: Tolono Public Library
  • Free Methodist Church (Champaign) CLOSED
    • Alternate location: Meadowbrook Community Church or Leonhard Recreation Center
  • Carroll Fire Department CLOSED
    • Alternate location: Brookens Administrative Center
  • Steer Place Community Room CLOSED
    • Alternate location: Brookens Administrative Center
  • Edge-Scott Fire Department CLOSED
    • Alternate location: Brookens Administrative Center
  • The Glenwood Assisted Living (Mahomet) CLOSED
    • Alternate location: Elk’s Pavilion at Lake of the Woods
  • Eagle View (Rantoul) CLOSED
    • Alternate location: The Gathering Place
  • Cohen Hillel Center (Champaign) CLOSED
    • Alternate location: Illini Union or the ARC
  • University YMCA (Champaign) CLOSED
    • Alternate location: Illini Union or the ARC

The shortage of elections judges stems from concerns regarding the coronavirus and social distancing to avoid being in large groups and spreading germs.

Here is a list of best practices for voters on elections day (from the Champaign County Circuit Clerk’s Office):

  1. Washing hands
  2. Social distancing (standing at least 3-6 ft apart as space permits)
  3. Using hand sanitizer
  4. Polling locations will have disinfecting wipes, sanitizer, disinfecting spray
  5. Judges will be wiping surfaces and disinfecting as time allows

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