socastcmsRssStartBy Cole Lauterbach | Illinois News NetworksocastcmsRssEnd
Today is Election Day in Illinois.
Those who have not registered to vote in Illinois still have time. With the exception of all but the most rural counties, Illinois State Board of Elections Spokesman Matt Dietrich said it only takes an ID with something proving where you live to register right before you vote at your local polling place.
“You need any piece of mail, a utility bill, bank statement, a paycheck, a government check,” he said. “Go there, register to vote there and then you’ll be able to vote.”
Topping ballots are local congressional races, many of which are competitive, followed by the governor’s race between incumbent Bruce Rauner and challengers Democrat J.B. Pritzker, Libertarian Kash Jackson or Conservative Party candidate Sam McCann.
The gubernatorial race has become the most expensive statewide race in U.S. history, pitting an incumbent multi-millionaire investor against a multi-billionaire heir to the Hyatt Hotel dynasty. Between Rauner and Pritzker, more than $284 million has been poured into the race.
Both have faced questions and criticism on the campaign trail.
Critics have said Rauner’s first term was a failure because he forced Democrats who control both legislative chambers into a <a href="https://www.ilnews.org/search/?f=html&q=budget+impasse&s=start_time&sd=desc&l=25&t=article%2Ccollection%2Cvideo%2Cyoutube&nsa=eedition">years-long budget impasse</a> that hurt public institutions and shuttered many state-funded service providers. Rauner then alienated a core portion of his base by breaking a prior promise and signing legislation allowing for taxpayer funds to go toward abortions. This earned him a primary challenge from suburban Republican lawmaker Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, who <a href="https://www.ilnews.org/news/state_politics/after-narrow-primary-defeat-ives-supporters-mixed-on-whether-they/article_ace2cf86-2d3f-11e8-bf37-b366d49ea566.html">came within a couple percentage points</a> of pulling off a historic upset. Rauner also faced criticism for how his administration handled a repeated outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease at a Quincy veterans home that killed 14 people.
Rauner also has had to contend with McCann, a <a href="https://www.ilnews.org/news/state_politics/debate-shows-mccann-could-be-a-problem-for-rauner-expert/article_f206c42e-bdb2-11e8-b597-3ff5755b37b9.html">self-described conservative</a> whose campaign was largely financed by money from the International Union Operating Engineers Local 150, a union that clashed with the Rauner.
Pritzker has been dogged by property tax issues and his relationship with now-imprisoned Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Pritzker was <a href="https://www.ilnews.org/news/state_politics/pritzker-under-fire-for-new-fbi-wiretapped-blagojevich-talks/article_ebc1b9dc-0c48-11e8-ba46-e71ffdf0bdad.html">recorded on FBI wiretaps</a> asking Blagojevich to be appointed to a political office. And a <a href="https://www.ilnews.org/news/state_politics/report-pritzker-schemed-to-defraud-taxman-in-tax-saving-toilet/article_a6cdf9ee-c5de-11e8-a28b-57fc4419ff6d.html">Cook County inspector’s report</a> found that Pritzker and his wife acted in a “scheme to defraud” the county by removing the toilets from Chicago mansion neighboring his own to get property tax breaks worth more than $300,000.
Pritzker also has been criticized for his ambiguity about how he’ll pay for the bevy of campaign promises he’s made. His answer is that he would push for a progressive tax that lowers taxes on the middle class and makes the wealthy pay more. Using only his proposed spending, this idea has been proven <a href="https://www.ilnews.org/news/state_politics/watchdog-pritzker-s-spending-promises-would-raise-taxes-on-middle/article_4110eb10-de0d-11e8-a90f-a35975cfdde6.html">misleading at its most generous</a>.
Back on ballot again is Secretary of State Jesse White, who’s being challenged by Republican Jason Helland and Libertarian Steve Dutner.
White’s taken criticism for backing out on his previous promises to retire from the office and now coming back for another cycle. At 84, the southern Illinois veteran has been criticized by Helland for not having the mental capacity for the job.
Illinois voters will be able to cast a vote for either Champaign Republican Erika Harold or Chicago Democrat Kwame Raoul for Illinois Attorney General. Libertarian Bubba Harsy is also running for that post. The winner will replace longtime Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who’s not running for re-election.
Raoul took over President Barack Obama’s seat in the state Senate upon his departure to run for U.S. Senate. Harold is a Harvard-educated lawyer who financed her degrees by winning the Miss America pageant in 2003. If Harold beats Raoul and Pritzker unseats Rauner, she could become the highest-ranking Republican in Illinois.
Incumbent Treasurer Mike Frerichs faces challengers Republican Jim Dodge and Libertarian Mike Leheney.
Democratic Comptroller Susana Mendoza is vying against Republican Darlene Senger and Libertarian Claire Ball to keep her seat.
Mendoza is the odds-on favorite to win, gaining popularity with a number of high-profile transparency measures she pushed for becoming law, but she’s been under fire in recent weeks for rumors that she’s going to turn around after the election and jump into the crowded race for Chicago mayor.
Voters can go to <a href="https://www.elections.il.gov/">elections.il.gov</a> to find the location of polling places.
Polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.