On Wednesday, Cook County election officials moved five polling sites out
of an Orland Park church because of controversial comments made by that
church’s pastor.

On Friday, Chicago election officials followed, moving three polling sites
out of a Chicago church run by the same pastor…

Leach said the city received no complaints about the Rev. Vernon Lyons or
his Chicago church, which is in contrast to the Ashburn Baptist Church that
Lyons runs at 15401 Wolf Rd. in Orland Park.

Lyons led an unsuccessful effort to block a mosque from coming to Orland
Park, and in that debate, he said Muslims are either involved in terrorism
or are financial supporters of it. Some Muslims who vote at polling sites
in Lyons’ church told county Clerk David Orr they’d be uncomfortable there,
given Lyons’ comments, and Orr moved the polls to nearby public buildings.

Leach said moving the three Chicago polling sites will impact about 1,600
registered voters, all of whom will be notified of a new site.

Yasser Tabbara, director of Chicago’s Council on American Islamic
Relations, praised the moves by Orr and Leach, but lamented the need to
make such moves.

“It’s like when African-Americans got the right to vote but then had to go
in buildings saying ‘whites only,'” Tabbara said. “But I am glad the board
fulfilled their duty and are making sure that polling places are friendly
environments for the entire population.


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