I'm attempting to install a smart light switch in an existing light switch box. There's isn't a ground wire I can see, nor does my voltage detector light up when I touch one end to hot and the other to the box. My outlets are all grounded, so could it be that my light switch box is not? This condo was built in 2004 in the Chicago area, so I imagine a ground of some kind must exist.
You have metal conduit connecting metal junction boxes.
All of it is ground. The conduit, the boxes, all of it. This is the ideal system.
Switches ground through the yokes and mounting screws. They don't need ground wires.
Receptacles are not allowed to do that unless they yoke has hard clean flush metal-metal contact with the box, and yours won't because the box is painted. However, in the back of the junction box will be a hole that is tapped #10-32 for a ground screw. Any #10-32 screw will do, but they sell little green ones very cheap. Then you can just run a recep ground to the green screw.
It appears that the device you took out had more than two wires on it. Is /was it a three way switch or a switch plug combination?? How many screws (for wires) are on your new device? From my 40 years at that trade, i would fire whoever made up that box.. The bare copper is surely grounded -- I just wonder where. Jim.