Elections and Voting

A service of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference and its website, www.hydepark.org
Help support our work: Join the Conference!

Watch here for news of upcoming elections. You can serve as deputy canvassers/registrars or as judges of election incl. high school juniors who keep up a 3.0 grade average. Contact Board of Elections, (312) 269-7851 FAX 312 269-0664. Training opportunities for volunteer deputy registrars will open again. Call 312 269-7851. See below: County Clerk David Orr's and commissioner's appeals for election judges and call for reform.

HPKCC held a public forum for the 4th Ward and a forum for the 5th Ward aldermanic races in January 2019, well attended.

2019 municipal election results. As summarized by the Chicago Maroon February 27, with notes* by GMO

Historic runoff: University alumnae Lori Lightfoot (J.D. ’89) and Toni Preckwinkle (A.B. ’69, A.M. ’77) will head to a runoff in April for mayor of Chicago. (*however, not all candidates have conceded or (those with 95% of the vote of the second place winner Toni Preckwinckle) have ruled out a challenge requiring a discovery recount of 25 percent of the ballots. Also, there are a huge number of mail-in ballots that either have not yet been counted or not yet received.)

Tuesday’s vote is already historic: Regardless of which candidate wins in April, Chicago will see its first Black female mayor.

Third-place candidate Bill Daley, brother of political heavyweight and former mayor Richard M. Daley, conceded around 9:40 p.m. (*and by implication from his speech does not intend to challenge).

The hotly contested 20th Ward aldermanic race will head to a runoff between community organizer Jeanette Taylor and educator Nicole Johnson, who received 29 percent and 22 percent of the vote respectively.
“It feels bittersweet,” Taylor told The Maroon. “I never wanted to be a sister against a sister.”

The Fifth Ward’s Leslie Hairston, five-term incumbent, will face activist Will Calloway in a runoff. Hairston earned 49 percent of Tuesday’s vote, with Calloway at 27 percent, out of 97 percent of precincts. (*that is extremely close and could be challenged or affected by mail-in ballots. Gabriel Piemonte came in 3rd at about 24 percent).
“I have been a solid leader for this community since day one,” Hairston said at her campaign party Tuesday night, where she stressed her experience and accomplishments.

In the Fourth Ward, incumbent Alderman Sophia King was reelected to her seat, earning 66 percent of votes to challenger Ebony Lucas’s 34 percent, with 95 percent of precincts reporting.

In the treasurer’s race, 47th Ward Alderman Ameya Pawar (S.M. ’09, A.M. ’16) will face Melissa Conyears-Ervin, State Representative for the 10th district, in an April 2 runoff election.

Check your election info, registration-- http://www.chicagoelections.com/en/your-voter-information.html

Election information: http://www.chicagoelections.com.
Mark your own reference paper ballot- http://www.chicagoballot.com.
Find out about being a judge: http://www.chicagoelections.com/page.php?id=16. Pollwatchers- http://www.chicagoelections.com/page.php?id=27.
Early voting locations here: http://www.chicagoelections.com/page.php?id=9
ballotready.org (cand info, nonpartisans, Hyde Parkers participate).
voteforjudges.org (all the recommending bodies)

The State Board of Elections online registration tool is functional and may be used to register voters. https://ova.elections.il.gov
For Chicago your one-stop is chicagoelections.org.
EARLY VOTING has started Mon-Saturdayt 9-5 through Feb. 21 plus Sunday the 15th 9-3 at any of the one of the 51 places, one per ward plus downtown. You must bring an identifible ID-- 2 (1 with photo) if you are changing address or name or voting for the first time in Chicago.
The location in the 4th Ward is the King Center, 3858 S. Cottage Grove. That for the 5th Ward is Jackson Park Fieldhouse, 6401 S. Stony Island.
Absentee voting can be appleid fdor and returned through Feb. 19 online or in person,

Judges of both parties are a good idea at all precincts. Volunteer. 5th Ward Republican Committman seeks them- Emil Coccoro, coccoroemil@gmail.com. To find out correct number of Democratic Committeeman office (Leslie Hairston) call 773 324-5555.
On the day of the election you can vote ONLY in your precinct.

December 19 2015, Saturday, 7 pm (doors open at 6). Democratic debate viewing party.

The third Democratic debate takes place this Saturday, Dec. 19 and Alds. Leslie Hairston (5th) and Roderick Sawyer (6th) are hosting a viewing party. The debate between Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley will begin at 7 p.m.

The Aldermen’s debate viewing will be at Red’s The New Generation, 6926 S. Stony Island Ave. Doors open at 6 p.m. Hairston and Sawyer will provide refreshments and facilitate at the event.

Out of the country and need an absentee ballot:

The Federal Voting Assistance Program (via the US State Department's website) says that "U.S. embassies and consulates can provide American citizens with voting forms and information about absentee voting, and can mail voter registration and absentee ballot request forms, and voted ballots back to the United States." But they will not receive blank ballots for someone.

There's a lot more on there as well, including a suggestion to contact the local country's US embassy. Example: Malaysia's contact is at VoteKualaLumpur@state.gov.

There are also issues about state ballots. Many seem to have different deadlines and requirements. Illinois, for example, has a deadline of Oct. 29 for a ballot request. Their instructions state that it can be sent to you via email or fax, as well as mailed.

Check out the Federal Voting Assistance Guide at

and the US State Dept guidelines at

Also there is FedEx and a group called the Overseas Vote Foundation who have apparently organized lower cost delivery of absentee ballots around the world. Here is the link: www.overseasvotefoundation.org/ExpressYourVote

VOTING PLACES HAVE BEEN CHANGED IN THE 2 WARDS AND THERE ARE FEWER OF THEM!- and you may be in a new ward and precinct- check the card that was mailed to you.... you also can text your address into 312-361-8846.

Ward 4- Precinct 1 Hyde Park Neighborhood Club, 5480 S. Kenwood
4- 9 Harper Square Coop lobby, 4850 S. Lake Park
4-22, 23, 24 Shoesmith School, 1330 E. 50th St.
4-27 United Church of Hyde Park Hall, 1448 E. 53rd St.
4-31 Neport Condo Assn., 4800 S. Chicago Beach Dr.
5-3 Augustana Lutheran Church Multipurpose, 5500 S. Woodlawn (west end of block)
5-4, 21 Kozminski School auditorium, 936 E. 54th St.
5-7, 22 Regents Park hospitality room, 5050 S. Lake Shore Dr.
5-8, 27 Ray Schol, 5631 S. Kimbark
5-9 Churach of Latter Day Saints rec. hall, 5200 S. University
5-18, 23 Catholic Theological Union courtyard room, 5401 S Cornell
5-19 Pioneer Coop social room , 5429 S. Dorchester
5-20 Congregation Rodfei Zedek, 5200 S. Hyde Park
5-24 Hyde Padrk Aparmens h ospitality rom, 5330 S. Harper
5-34 The Cloisters center foyer, 5801 S. Dorchester
5-35, 37 1700 E. 56th Condo Assn
5-39 University Park Condo hospitality room, 1450 E. 55th Pl.


Propositions on the ballot- past date

See the sample ballot at chicagoelections.com. 773 269-7900. To get location of place via a text message, enter your simple address into 312-361-8846.

Judges- a ratings and discussion- http://gapersblock.com/mechanics/2012/10/30/judging-the-judges/




Endorsement lists by Chicago Tribune (including online.) The Sun-Times no longer endorses.
Endorsement lists by Chicago Tribune (including online.) The Sun-Times no longer endorses.

Chicago Tribune:


Vote For Judges.org

http://www.evoter.com/il/polling_location?SUID=88448 (sample for your ward and precinct)

Next primary in March 2014. www.chicagoelections.com

Follow evolving campaigns: Revelection.com- Charts campaigns, free listing, “facebook for elections,” you can "vote" for your favorite.
Earlyandoften.com. Tracking information but costs to join. Major newspapers and tv stations have returned candidate questionnaires or interviews, such as in chicagotribune.com/elections.

If you're registering to vote in person, bring two pieces of identification. Neither needs to be a photo ID, but one must include your current address. Acceptable forms of ID include:

•Illinois driver's license
•Illinois state ID
•Employee or student ID
•Credit card
•Social security card
•Birth certificate
•Utility bill in your name
•Mail postmarked to you

•Valid U.S. passport
•Lease or rental contract

Absentee Voting

You can also vote before election day by mail through absentee voting.

Anyone registered to vote in Chicago is eligible to cast an absentee ballot. You have to file a completed and signed request for an absentee ballot by the legal deadline, October 28.

You can download the absentee ballot application--just click here. Voters in Illinois don't need to offer a reason to vote early or to vote absentee.

In addition, the following unregistered voters are eligible to vote by absentee ballot:
•Members of the Armed Forces or Merchant Marine and their spouses and dependents, whether serving in the United States or abroad.
•U.S. citizens and their spouses or dependents whose permanent residences are in Chicago but who will be temporarily living abroad on Election Day.
•U.S. citizens (not their spouses or dependents) who maintained a residence in Chicago immediately before their departure from the United States.

Election Guide: http://www.chicagoelections.com. http://www.chicagoelections.com/dm/general/document_595.pdf

Report any ADA issues on day of election (including uncleared ramps) immediately to Equip for Equality, contact@equipforequality.org, 312 341-0022, TTY 800 610-2779.

Contacts about the election and the procedures

Some information regarding petitions applicable to elections

Signing petition sheets
• Each person signing the petition must personally sign the petition. No one may sign another person’s name or signature on the petition, including spouses or members of the family for another person. [10 ILCS 5/10-4]
• The signer's residence address must be written or printed opposite his or her name and shall include the street address, city and county, except that the City of Chicago and Cook County may be printed on the petition forms. [10 ILCS 5/10-4]
• Each petition signer must, at the time he or she signs the petition, be registered to vote at the address shown opposite his or her signature on the petition, and such address must be within the ward in which the candidate is seeking election. [10 ILCS 5/3-1.2, 5/10-4]
• Petition signers may not sign more than one nominating petition for the same office. [10 ILCS 5/10-3]

Circulating petition sheets
• No petition sheet shall be circulated more than 90 days preceding the last day provided by law for filing the petition. Therefore, the first day that petition sheets may be circulated for the February 22, 2011 election is Tuesday, August 24, 2010. [10 ILCS 5/10-4]
• Petition circulators must be at least 18 years of age and be citizens of the United States. They need not be registered to vote nor are they required to be residents of the City or of the Ward in which they circulate petitions. [10 ILCS 5/10-4]
• A candidate may circulate his or her own petition sheets. [10 ILCS 5/10-4]
• All signatures on a single petition sheet must be signed in the presence of the circulator of that sheet. [10 ILCS 5/10-4]
• Each petition sheet must contain at the bottom a statement completed and signed by the circulator of that sheet certifying that the signatures were signed in his or her presence, that the signatures are genuine, that none of the signatures were signed more than 90 days preceding the last day for filing the petitions, that to the best of his or her knowledge and belief the persons signing the petition were at the time of signing the petition duly registered voters of the political subdivision or district in which the candidate is seeking election, and that the respective addresses of the signers are correctly stated on the petition sheet. Such statement must be sworn to by the circulator before some officer authorized to administer oaths in the State of Illinois. [10 ILCS 5/10-4]

Persons should sign their name as it is written on their registration card, they MUST live in the Ward at the correct address where they are registered to vote, and they cannot sign more than one candidate's petition. And they cannot sign for someone who is not there (a husband can't sign for a wife, or a parent for a child).

Anyone who is a valid resident over 18 years of age can circulate petitions (you do not have to live in the candidate's Ward). At the bottom of the page is signature and date lines for the circulator, but these should not be filled in until the petitions are turned in to the candidate and a Notary Public, when the deadline approaches. Do not use knock-off petitions including pdf or emailed (it has to be the board of election's font, with everything theirs says.) Do not fold petitions, prenumber, etc.

Registration and Voting for the February 22 municipal nonpartisan election.

Next election: Rules and deadlines are similar to those for the February 2 2010 primary READ FACTS ABOUT REGISTERING AND VOTING (IN PDF)

In Chicago, voters may register:
by submitting a mail-in form (you can ask Rep. Currie's office to email it to you-or 773.667.0550. Or drop by 1303 E. 53rd St. You can also send an email to repcurrie@sbcglobal.net.), which must be postmarked no later than January 5th.
in person at 69 W. Washington St., Sixth Floor.
through an active deputy registrar affiliated with a local organization, such as a political party, ward office, business, etc.
at any driver's license facility.

Early Voting and Absentee Voting

Early voting for the 2010 Primary Election will be offered --, 9 am-5 pm. To vote early, just bring a government-issued photo ID card.

Chicago voters may vote at any of the city's 51 sites, regardless of where they live. Hours for all sites are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 18.

You can vote early downtown at the Board of Elections, 69 W. Washington St., Lower Level Conference Room. This location is also open on Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Here's a list of early voting sites in and around the 25th District:
4th Ward -- M L King Community Ctr. 4314 S. Cottage Grove Ave.
5th Ward -- Jackson Park 6401 S. Stony Island Ave.
7th Ward -- Jeffery Manor Library 2401 E. 100th St.
10th Ward -- Vodak/East Side Library 3710 E. 106th St. This location is also open on Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
20th Ward -- Coleman Library 731 E. 63rd St.

Grace Period Voting

Grace period voting is a safety net offered to those who failed to register by the January 5th deadline.

A grace period voter must register and vote at the same time in person at the Election Board offices at 69 W. Washington St. on the Sixth Floor. Grace period registration and voting will be offered Jan. 6 thru Jan. 26, 2010.

Absentee Voting

Voters are allowed to cast their ballots before Election Day either in person at an early voting site or by mail through absentee voting.

All persons registered to vote in Chicago are eligible to cast absentee ballots. The voter must file a completed and signed request for an absentee ballot by the legal deadline:
Applications from military and civilians overseas must be received at the Election Board by close of business on Jan. 25.
Applications from voters in the United States must be received at the Election Board by close of business on Jan. 22.

To download the absentee ballot application, go to the Board of Elections Website or Rep. Currie's office as above.

Under a new law, voters in Illinois don't need to offer a reason to vote absentee.

In addition, the following unregistered voters are eligible to vote by absentee ballot:
Members of the Armed Forces or Merchant Marine and their spouses and dependents, whether serving in the United States or abroad.
U.S. citizens and their spouses or dependents whose permanent residences are in Chicago but who will be temporarily living abroad on Election Day.
U.S. citizens (not their spouses or dependents) who maintained a residence in Chicago immediately before their departure from the United States.

If you're planning on voting absentee, be sure to apply early to make sure your application arrives in time.

Happy New Year -- and happy voting!

MORE INFORMATION AND REPORTS FROM MEDIA- see the Campaign Front 2011 page.




The League of Women Voters is an organization that works for electoral integrity and an informed citizenry. Local contact: Dorothy Scheff, 5550 South Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois, 60637, 773 753-4647.
Downtown: 332 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60604 (312) 939-5935-President there Esta Kallen, tkandek@aol.com.
www.lwv.org (search by state), www.lwvil.org (state org)
Purpose: To promote citizen participation and integrity in the electoral and civic processes and good government, elucidate public issues. Holds monthly meetings and forums at Montgomery Place. Has held candidate forums.


You always should bring along 2 pieces of identification including one showing current address you are registering from, just in case. Always inform the Board of Elections when you move. .

More information: http://www.voterreg@cookcountygov.com or 312 603-0906.

Another tip: get involved in civic activist and political organizations. One of several partisan and nonpartisan campaign involvement sites is www.voteforchange.com, which qualifies persons over a certain age for registering persons to vote in any state.

Find your polling place www. voterinfonet.com or www.chicagoelections.org
Registration to vote for the April election is open, that for the February 27 primary is closed.

There are many evaluators of judicial candidates, of which just one is the Chicago Bar Association- www.voteforjudges.org. sponsored by the Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice. it gives the evaluations of ALL bar associations and area newspapers and is downloadable. See also www.retentionjudges.com....

Open and honest elections are very important to Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference. Recently, we felt much was left to be desired in the process for selection (and non-election for nearly 2 years) of a state senator to fill a vacancy. We also deplore lack of deference to formal community process of choice and input and lack of open, or at least observed, meetings in many decisions that affect the community.
Meanwhile, we encourage you to volunteer for judge or poll watcher at elections. Lets have a full contingent of judges and watchful eyes at every precinct in the area. And, make sure you are registered to vote--especially if you have moved. If you have doubt (i.e., didn't get a confirmation card), bring two forms of id with you, one showing current address. Top


To vote in Illinois you must:

Federal law requires first-time voters who register by mail to show proof of identification in order to vote. You may be able to satisfy this requirement by providing your driver's license number or, if you do not have a driver's license the last 4 digits of your social security number.

Other acceptable forms of identification are a copy of a current and valid photo ID or a copy pf a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address.

If you register by mail, you must vote in person the first time you vote. If you register at a public service agency, any information regarding the agency which assisted you will remain confidential as will any decision not to register.

If you change your name, you must re-register.


New procedures for the elections and (barring major snafus) thereafter

There will be two ways to vote. Optical scan ballots and electronic touch screen.

Optical scan voting. Printed ballot contains the names of al candidates and offices. Complete the arrow (with straight, direct lines) beside the name selected. (If voting absentee, be sure to use blue or black ink.) There is a special write-in section for each office- write the name then complete the arrow. Be careful not to overvote. The ballot is two-sided. To change your vote you must ask for a new ballot.
After voting, take your ballot to a ballot scanner and insert, in the privacy sleeve , into the marked slot. If rejected, you will be informed why and given opportunist to re vote or you may have it processed "as is."

Electronic touchscreen. Intended largely for the disabled. Receive a voter card and insert it into the yellow slot at bottom right--push until you feel it click. Operates like ATM with menus, etc. This method prevents overvotes. You can scroll around and self-correct. You can verify your vote with a printed tape. When done, touch "cast ballot"- once this is done you cannot change your vote.

Election Central is 312 260-7870.

Procedures reviewed:

Two options: Optical scan uses a paper ballot. Touchscreen is electronic and creates a paper record secured in the printer.


1. The judge supplies a special pen and a paper ballot.
2. Both sides of the ballot list offices and candidates. Connect the arrow to the right of t he name. If you make a mistake, you must ask for a new ballot.
3. After voting, cover the ballot with the privacy sleeve and insert in the ballot scanner.


Designed for voters with disabilities, but anyone may use.

1. The judge supplies a voter card, which you push into the yellow slot until it clicks
2. Select language
3. View printed record of choices in the machine. When done, touch "cast ballot" and return the voter card to the judge.

Contact: CEB Human Resources Department, 69 W. Washington Suite 800. 773 269-7950.

Volunteer deputy registrar training. 312 269-7851, FAX 312 269-0664.

Training requests must be submitted, in writing, on an organization's letterhead, by the organization coordinator, with phone number. The Community Services Division of the Board must receive these requests by the indicated deadline. Send to attn. of Kelly Bateman, Director, Community Services Division. The request must include name and address of each volunteer and indicate the class date and time requested. Attendees must reside in Chicago. Sessions may be cancelled. Training is at 33 N. LaSalle 2nd floor. Top

The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, 69 W. Washington. (312) 269-7900.

County Clerk Orr: "Need Felt for Election Judges"

If we can put a man on the moon, why can't we get elections right?

As Cook County's chief election authority, I hear that a lot. In reality, neither rocket scientists nor my staff runs the show on Election day. The most powerful people on Election Day are the election judges--your neighbors who wake up at 4 a.m. and spend a 14-hour day inside a school gymnasium to ensure that your polling place runs smoothly.

In helping to guarantee democracy, polling place workers shouldn't have to take a vacation day or worry about jeopardizing their jobs. Instead, businesses should allow employees to take the day off to serve as election judges--just as they do for employees who sit on juries.

Since the 2000 presidential election, most of the debate surrounding election reform has focused on voting equipment, while the human component of improving elections has largely been ignored. Sure, machines count votes and transmit results, but election judges must set up the equipment correctly, show voters how the machines work and know what to do if they malfunction.

Unfortunately, election authorities nationwide face shortages of election judges at a time when we need them most. The introduction of new federal voting procedures coupled with an expected heavy voter turnout makes it essential that every precinct have a full complement of five election judges for the November 2 election. That's more than 25,000 election judges in Cook County alone.

Last spring, my office drafted a bill that would have required businesses to give time off to employees who work as election judges. It ultimately died after winning approval in the Illinois House. But civic-minded companies in Illinois can still support the spirit of the law on their own.

Deforest B. Soaries, Jr., chairman of the federal Election Assistance Commission, has called the decrease in polling place workers "an emerging crisis" that eclipses any technical issues. The commission is now urging corporate leaders nationwide to recruit more election judges by awarding employees the day off to work at the polls.

Granted, working as an election judge is hardly glamorous stuff. You work long hours and don't get rich doing it. But election judges play a critical role by serving on the front lines and making sure elections are conducted fairly, honestly and accurately.

The more knowledgeable, well-trained judges we have on hand, the better. Granting them time off to protect voter rights, reduce polling place confusion and minimize ballot errors only makes sense.


Election judge vacancies a familiar problem. by Theresa M. Petrone, Bd of El. Commrs. [Note, a firm rebuttal by a retired teacher to the part about using teachers appeared in the September 29 Hyde Park Herald.]

Hyde Park Herald, September 15, 2004

The current system of recruiting and assigning judges is no longer effective and needs to be replaced with a procedure that will ensure all voters are served by trained and reliable poll workers.

Judges of election are currently appointed by the two major political parties. In the City of Chicago, approximately 14,000 judges, evenly divided between Democrat an Republican, are needed to staff the city's 2,709 polling places.

Unfortunately, in recent years, this task has become more difficult, leaving the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners scrambling to fill thousands of vacancies during the 45-day period prior to the election when the Board can make direct appointments in precincts where the political parties made no assignments.

With only a few months until the Nov. 2 Presidential Election, the Board finds itself with more than 10,000 judges of election vacancies. A crisis? Yes, but one that the Board faces every two years when the term of all judges of election expires.

Past experience has demonstrated that the key to a well-run election is to have trained and conscientious judges of election assigned to all precincts. Although there are hundreds of dedicated judges of election who serve every election, some for decades, there are many precincts where it is difficult to recruit anyone to serve. This problem is compounded by the large number of judges of election who fail to show up election morning, leaving some precincts with one or two judges, or even none!

Serving as a judge of election requires training. Judges must know ho to set up the polling place in the morning; process and assist voters during the polling hours; be able to close the polls and tally the vote; and be knowledgeable of a complex State Election code and federal requirements. The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners does its part in providing a professional school of instruction, a comprehensive judge of election manual, and unlimited backup services through Election central. Yet, even with all of this assistance, serving as a judge can be a challenging and intimidating task. In precincts with untrained judges of election, mistakes are easy to make, sometimes disenfranchising voters.

What is the solution to the judge of election vacancy crisis? Her is a suggestion that would solve the judge of election dilemma and provide voters with the best possible electoral system:

A professional cadre of Chicago school teachers who would staff the city's polling places every election....