Chicago Police DepartmentSpecial Order S03-12
Election Procedures
Issue Date:22 February 2012Effective Date:22 February 2012
Rescinds:Version dated 28 December 2009; S09-14
Index Category:Field Operations
I.Purpose
This directive informs Department members of their duties and responsibilities during elections.
II.Polling Place Assignments/"Roving Coverage" for Early Voting
  • A.District commanders will be provided lists from the Chief, Bureau of Patrol, identifying early voting polling places that will receive directed patrol “roving coverage.”
  • B.District commanders with an early voting polling place within their district will ensure that:
    • 1.a beat car, rapid response car, and a field supervisor are assigned to monitor the early voting polling place during voting hours.
    • 2.a beat car, rapid response car, and a field supervisor are assigned to conduct premise checks at early voting polling places during nonvoting hours.
  • C.Members will ensure that no person tampers with, damages, or steals voting equipment stored at these locations.
  • D.When a polling place visitation or premise check is made by any Department member, a notification will be made to the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) and an event number will be created.
III.Polling Place Assignments/"Roving Coverage" on Election Day
  • A.District commanders will be provided lists from the Chief, Bureau of Patrol, identifying polling places that will receive directed patrol “roving coverage.”
    • 1.District commanders will use these lists to assign each beat car, rapid response car, squadrol, and field supervisor to polling places that they are to visit in addition to their normal duties.
    • 2.Community policing officers will be used for visitation of polling places only and will not be available for other assignments.
    • 3.Park officers will make visitations to all polling places located within Chicago Park District facilities, in addition to their normal duties.
    • 4.District tactical officers will be in full field uniform and will be assigned to visit polling places, in addition to their normal duties.
  • B.When a polling place visitation is made by any Department member, a notification will be made to the OEMC and an event number will be obtained.
  • C.District supervisors will continuously monitor assignment histories via the Portable Data Terminal to ensure officers are making as many polling place visitations as possible.
IV.Polling Place Assignments/"Fixed Posts" on Election Day
  • A.District commanders will:
    • 1.assign a fixed-post officer in those polling places noted as fixed in the polling place district listing issued to each command by the Chief, Bureau of Patrol.
      NOTE:
      ONLY ON-DUTY PERSONNEL WILL BE ASSIGNED. Volunteers will be sought on the basis of seniority if a sworn Department member will remain on the post for a tour of duty. If there are no volunteers, then reverse seniority will be used to assign members.
    • 2.notify the area deputy chief if the number of fixed posts exceeds personnel availability. The area deputy chief will ensure that personnel from other districts within the area are used to balance personnel.
    • 3.ensure that during the fixed-post officers selected lunch period, an officer is assigned as relief, if necessary. Lunch relief will be requested via the zone or by notifying OEMC.
    • 4.ensure that officers assigned to Chicago Public Schools that have polling places make periodic checks of that location.
  • B.Sworn members assigned to a fixed post will:
    • 1.on the 2nd watch, report to their assigned polling place in the prescribed seasonal field uniform at the designated time and remain at their assigned polling place until relieved by a 3rd watch officer.
      NOTE:
      If the sworn members assigned polling place is not opened by the designated time, they will notify the Board of Election Command Post and the Bureau of Patrol.
    • 2.upon arrival, notify, by telephone, the district desk in which the polling place is located. If necessary, sworn members may leave the polling place in order to make the call.
    • 3.on the 3rd watch, remain at the fixed polling place until all voters have exited the location and the polling place is closed. A field supervisor will then be contacted for assignment.
  • C.The station supervisor will ensure that any fixed-post polling place in which the assigned sworn member has not reported in by the designated time is covered until the responsible member is located.
  • D.Field supervisors will make visitations to as many polling places as possible during their tour of duty.
V.Voting Compliant Procedures
  • A.All complaints regarding voting or polling places received by the OEMC will be assigned to an available unit. Those complaints received from the Election Commissioner’s Office will be assigned as follows: “Beat _____,” giving the location, nature of incident, and adding “E.C.,” indicating that it was from the Election Commissioner’s Office.
    NOTE:
    The OEMC has raised the priority level of all incidents occurring at polling places to a 1A priority dispatch level.
    • 1.A field supervisor will also be assigned by the OEMC to respond to all complaints at polling places or complaints received from the Election Commissioner’s Office.
    • 2.The assigned supervisor will evaluate the situation. If the supervisor determines the need for a continuous police presence, an officer will be posted in that location until the close of the polling place.
  • B.Upon completion of the investigation of an incident at a polling place, in addition to any other reports or notifications that may be required, the assigned unit will:
    • 1.report the results of “E.C.” complaints to the Election Commissioner’s Office.
    • 2.notify the Bureau of Patrol of the incident.
    • 3.fax copies of all reports relating to the incident to the Chief, Bureau of Patrol.
    • 4.notify OEMC of the disposition of the assignment consistent with existing procedures.
  • C.If a complaint is received against a sworn Department member at a polling place, a member of the appropriate rank will be assigned to conduct an investigation of the incident.
  • D.Should instructions from an attorney for the Board of Elections Commissioners require a Department member to leave the polling place, the member will contact the station supervisor at the district of assignment to seek a replacement.
  • E.When the polls close and the last voter to apply has voted, officers assigned will not permit anyone to remain in the polling place except judges of election and persons who present proper credentials.
VI.Special Instructions
  • A.The Department’s function is to preserve the peace and to afford full protection to all qualified citizens desiring to vote. Department members will discharge their duties in a professional and impartial manner. They will remain absolutely neutral and avoid being drawn into political discussions. Department members will take a position where they can see everything that occurs in the polling place.
  • B.No electioneering or solicitation of votes is allowed within the polling place or within 100 feet from the room where voting is conducted. This is referred to as the Campaign Free Zone. However, the following applies:
    • 1.If a polling place room is located within a building that is a public or private school, a church, an organization founded for the purpose of religious worship, or a private business, and the distance of 100 feet ends within the interior of the building, then the Campaign Free Zone will begin at each building entrance used by voters. Also, a church or private school may choose to apply the Campaign Free Zone to its entire property.
    • 2.If the polling place is located within a private or public building other than a school, church, or private business, and the polling place room is located on the ground floor, then the Campaign Free Zone shall be 100 feet from each entrance to the polling place room.
    • 3.If the polling place is located in a private or public building, other than a school, church, or private business, and on a floor above or below the ground floor, then the Campaign Free Zone shall be 100 feet from the nearest elevator or staircase used by voters on the ground floor to access the floor where the polling place is located.
      NOTE:
      Electioneering or solicitation includes the distribution of badges, buttons, or insignia. Sworn Department members will enforce these regulations. Anyone attempting to intimidate voters will be immediately arrested (10 ILCS 5/17-29). Persons arrested for misdemeanor electioneering or solicitation of votes will be charged under Section 10 ILCS 5/29-12, Disregard of the Election Code. For all other election violations, members will refer to the Election Code 10 ILCS 5 and 10 ILCS 5/29 (Prohibitions and Penalties) for further information. Members may contact the Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Elections Coordinator for guidance.
  • C.There are Board of Election liaisons and/or judges, and if applicable, an early voting administrator assigned to each polling place. The Board of Election liaisons and/or judges, and early voting administrators are officers of the Circuit Court of Cook County and, under the law, during voting, have the authority to order the arrest of any person who commits a breach of the peace, violates any election law, unlawfully interferes with the progress of the election, or brings liquor or other alcoholic beverages into a polling place.
  • D.If a Board of Election liaison and/or judge, or early voting administrator orders a sworn Department member to make an arrest during voting at any time before the returns are made, the sworn Department member will effect the arrest and have the Board of Election liaison and/or judge or early voting administrator sign the complaint. It is not necessary that all or a majority of the other Board of Election liaisons and/or judges, or early voting administrator concur with this order that an individual be arrested.
  • E.If a sworn Department member observes a violation of an election law committed in their presence, the member will immediately arrest the offender. In this situation, it is not necessary for a Board of Election liaison and/or judge, or early voting administrator to order that the offender be arrested or sign the complaint.
  • F.Sworn Department members will assist the Board of Election liaisons and/or judges, or early voting administrators in ensuring that all persons present in the polling place, other than voters in line or in the process of voting, have appropriate government credentials or poll watchers’ credentials. Government personnel who may be inside the polling place include representatives from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, the United States Attorney’s Office, the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, the Chicago Corporation Counsel’s Office, the State Board of Elections, and the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.
  • G.Sworn Department members will notify the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners and Bureau of Patrol whenever:
    • 1.a serious controversy or pattern of irregularities comes to the attention of the member.
    • 2.a member makes an arrest:
      • a.on the order of a Board of Election liaison and/or judge, or early voting administrator.
      • b.for a violation of an election law committed in the member’s presence.
      • c.for a violation committed outside of the member’s presence but the member has probable cause to believe that a particular individual committed the offense.
  • H.Investigators from the Board of Election Commissioners will respond to any incident where there is an allegation of voting irregularity. All members of the Department will extend courtesy to these investigators and cooperate with them in any investigation that may arise.
VII.Election Officials and Poll Watchers
  • A.Any employee of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners or State Board of Elections and any federal, state, county, or city law enforcement official on official business is entitled to enter a polling place.
    • 1.During elections, a representative of the United States Attorney’s Office, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Chicago Corporation Counsel’s Office, the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, the State Board of Elections, and the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners may handle and inspect applications for ballot, affidavits, and poll watcher credentials when to do so does not interfere with the orderly conduct of the election.
    • 2.In any polling place where a representative of the United States Attorney’s Office, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Chicago Corporation Counsel’s Office, the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, the State Board of Elections, and the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners handles election materials, they shall surrender to a Board of Election liaison and/or judge, or early voting administrator a copy of a letter of authority from the pertinent agency setting forth the representative’s name and indicating that they are acting in an official capacity on behalf of the agency.
    • 3.In the event a dispute arises regarding the handling of election materials or any other matter regarding employees or agents of the above-mentioned agencies, the Board of Election liaison and/or judge, or early voting administrator will immediately contact the Board of Election Commissioners before taking any action.
  • B.All poll watchers and challengers will produce credentials, including precinct captains, issued by the Board of Election Commissioners to all candidates and authorized citizens or groups. The credential holder will be allowed to perform in the manner outlined in the credentials.
Items indicated by italic/double underline were revised or added.
Authenticated by: RMJ
Garry F. McCarthy
Superintendent of Police
09-050 / 12-003 PMD/JB