Early voting, March 12

Early voting at the Reynolds Club, 5706 S. University Ave., on March 12.

The Illinois primary election will proceed as planned Tuesday, despite a growing coronavirus outbreak across the state.

On Sunday, Gov. J.B Pritzker (D) said that in Chicago a record number of mail-in ballots have been submitted ahead of election day. Pritzker also said he would not delay the election.

“The only thing that I know is that I can’t do. I can’t fail to make a decision at all. That is what I know, I cannot fail to make any decision,” he said, according to Capitol Fax. “If we delayed the election, it is unclear when we might be able to hold another one.”

Across Chicago, 168 polling places have changed locations in the past week, according to Board of Elections chair Marisel Hernandez. An up-to-date list of polling places can be found at chicagoelections.gov/en/your-voter-information.html.

A Board of Elections list from December showed that Montgomery Place, 5550 S. Shore Dr., and the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club, 5480 S. Kenwood Ave., were slated as polling places. In the latest version available on the board’s website, those locations have been changed to the Jackson Park Fieldhouse, 6401 S. Stony Island Ave., and Canter Middle School, 4959 S. Blackstone Ave., respectively.

Ahead of election day itself, many campaigns have been transitioning to digital canvassing and minimizing voter contact. The Illinois Democratic County Chairs Association advised party chairs to cancel get out the vote rallies and election night parties.

The Board of Elections is also looking for substitute judges for election day. Election judges are paid between $170 and $255. You can sign up to be an election judge by calling 312-269-7984.

On the ballot, U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-1st), seeking a 15th term in office, faces three challengers: University of Chicago Law School student Sarah Gad, nonprofit worker Robert Emmons Jr. and organizer Ameena Nuur Matthews.

U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly (D-2nd) represents a few blocks of East Hyde Park and is running against former postal worker Marcus Lewis, who has run against her in every primary since she won the 2013 special election.

State Sen. Robert Peters (D-13th), who was appointed to the seat last year, is running against attorney Ken Thomas in the primary. Local Reps. Curtis J. Tarver II (D-25th), who represents Kenwood east of Woodlawn Avenue and Hyde Park east of Ellis Avenue, and Kambium Buckner (D-26th) are unopposed on the ballot.

State’s Attorney Kim Foxx (D) faces three challengers: attorneys Bill Conway and Donna More, and former Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd). Four Democrats — attorney Jacob Meister, Northwest Side state Sen. Iris Martinez (20th), former West Side and suburban Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin (1st) and County Board of Review Commissioner Michael M. Cabonargi (2nd)— are running to be Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County (the incumbent, Dorothy Brown, is retiring).

A number of Democrats are running to be commissioners of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. There are also a number of primaries for various vacant circuit and appellate court judgeships.

The Hyde Park-Kenwood Democratic committeewomen for the 4th and 5th wards, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Ald. Leslie Hairston, respectively, are running unopposed on the ballot, as is incumbent U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D). In the 20th Ward, state Sen. Mattie Hunter (3rd) and nonprofits worker Jennifer O. Maddox are running to replace incumbent Kevin Bailey, who is not seeking another term.

No Republicans have filed to be the 5th Ward’s committeeman, but incumbent Lori Yokoyama (4th), an attorney, is running for re-election unopposed, and U. of C. student Matthew Pinna is running unopposed to fill the 20th Ward vacancy. Contested offices on the GOP ballot include the races for U.S. Senate and state’s attorney; no Republicans filed to run for the local General Assembly seats.

Full results will be online as soon as they are available and in the March 25 print edition of the Herald.



Christian Belanger graduated from the University of Chicago in 2017. He has previously written for South Side Weekly, Chicago magazine and the Chicago Reader.

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