Category Archives: 2011 Chicago Elections

Voters’ Guide — 2011 City of Chicago Run-Off Elections

In Chicago wards where no aldermanic candidate won by more than 50 percent of the vote on February 22, the top two candidates will face off in a run-off election on Tuesday, April 5, 2011. Only Chicago residents living in the following Chicago wards will vote April 5. Not sure if you live in one of these wards? Click here to find out which ward you live in.

Chicago Aldermanic Candidates — April 5, 2011 Run-Off Election

6th Ward: Freddrenna M. Lyle  / Roderick T. Sawyer
15th Ward: Toni L. Foulkes  /  Raymond A. Lopez
16th Ward: Joann Thompson  /  Hal E. Baskin
17th Ward: Latasha R. Thomas  /  David H. Moore
20th Ward: Willie B. Cochran  /  Che “Rhymefest” Smith
24th Ward: Sharon Denise Dixon  /  Michael D. Chandler
25th Ward: Daniel “Danny” Solis  /  Cuahutemoc Morfin
36th Ward: John A. Rice  /  Nicholas Sposato
38th Ward: Timothy M. Cullerton  /  Tom Caravette
41st Ward: Mary O’Connor  /  Maurita E. Gavin
43rd Ward: Michele Smith  /  Tim Egan
45th Ward: John Garrido  /  John Arena
46th Ward: Mary Anne “Molly” Phelan  /  James Cappleman
50th Ward: Bernard L. Stone  /  Debra L. Silverstein
*For a full listing of results from the Feb. 22 Municipal Elections, click here.

Am I registered to vote in Chicago?
>> Click here to find out if you are registered to vote in Chicago. Just enter your name and zip code. If you’re registered, this link will also show you your polling place.

Is it too late to register to vote in the run-off election?
>> Yes. The deadline for registering to vote in the run-off elections was Tuesday, March 8.

Where is my polling place?
>> Enter your name and zip code here to see your polling location. *If you’ve moved since the last election, make sure you check to see where your new polling place is before you attempt to vote – your vote won’t count if you vote in the wrong precinct.

What time are the polls open on Tuesday, April 5th?
>> Polling places will be open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5.

Can I vote early?
>> All registered voters can vote early from Monday, March 14 through Thursday, March 31. To vote early you must bring a government-issued ID (a driver’s license, state ID card, or passport.)

Where do I vote early?
As listed by the Board of Elections Commissioners for the City of Chicago, you can vote early in your ward at the following locations, Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.:

Ward Early Voting Locations and Hours

6th Ward: Whitney Young Library 7901 South M. L. King Jr. Drive
15th Ward: Lindblom Park 6054 S. Damen Ave.
16th Ward: Sherman Park 1301 W. 52nd St.
17th Ward: Thurgood Marshall Library 7506 S. Racine Ave.
20th Ward: Coleman Library 731 E. 63rd St.
24th Ward: Douglass Library 3353 W. 13th St.
25th Ward: Chinatown Library 2353 S. Wentworth Ave.
36th Ward: Hiawatha Park 8029 W. Forest Preserve Drive
38th Ward: Wright College – Science Bldg 4300 N. Narragansett Ave.
41st Ward: Roden Library 6083 N. Northwest Hwy.
43rd Ward: Lincoln Park Library 1150 W. Fullerton Ave.
45th Ward: Edgebrook Library 5331 W. Devon Ave.
46th Ward: Truman College 1145 W. Wilson Ave.
50th Ward: Warren Park 6601 N. Western Ave.
*If your ward has a run-off election, you can also vote early at one of the following permanent early voting sites.

Do I need an ID to vote in the run-off elections?

  • If you vote early, you will need to bring a government-issued ID.
  • If you are voting April 5 and have voted from your current address before, you do not need to bring an ID.
  • If you’re voting for the first time in a new precinct, you must bring a government-issued ID with you when you go to vote.

Who should I vote for?
>> As always, the BGA does not endorse candidates for public office and that decision is entirely up to you. To assist you in your decision, here are a few guides regarding the aldermanic candidates:

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Chicago Candidates Race to Run-Off

It's a run-off! After yesterday's election, 14 aldermanic seats remain undecided.

In Chicago elections, candidates can be declared the winner only if they receive a majority of the votes cast—that means they have to get 50 percent plus one vote to win the election.

If a candidate fails to meet that bar in the first election round then the highest two vote-getters meet again for a “supplementary” election, or run-off.

That “50-percent-plus-one” bar was hard to meet this time around. Almost 250 people ran to fill only 53 slots: Mayor, City Clerk, City Treasurer and 50 Aldermen.

In the mayoral and aldermanic races, the lack of incumbents drew scads of candidates.

The Mayor’s race—which for the first time in decades does not include incumbent Mayor Richard M. Daley—attracted six hopefuls. In the end, Rahm Emanuel defeated his five competitors with almost 55 percent of the vote, winning the race out-right.

And in the eight aldermanic wards with no elected incumbent (wards 4, 38, 41, 43, 45, 46, 47, and 48) the races for City Council were also competitive.

Indeed, the aldermanic vacancies created opportunity for political novices and party favorites alike to throw their hats into the ring, each one reducing the likelihood that any other would break the 50-percent-plus-one threshold needed to claim victory.

An incumbent Alderman doesn’t always equate to an outright win on Election Day. Some wards had a few strong challengers running against a sitting alderman. That meant the vote was more divided on Election Day, making it difficult for anyone to win out-right.

As of 9 a.m., the following 14 city council seats are undecided and will go on to the run-off.  We’ve listed the two remaining candidates you will have to choose from on April 5.  Newly elected officials will be sworn in May 16.

Not sure if you live in a ward listed below? Click here to find out which ward you live in.

6     FREDDRENNA M. LYLE                 RODERICK T. SAWYER

15    TONI L. FOULKES                            RAYMOND A. LOPEZ

16    JOANN THOMPSON                        HAL E. BASKIN

17    LATASHA R. THOMAS                     DAVID H. MOORE

20   WILLIE B. COCHRAN                       CHE ”RHYMEFEST” SMITH

24    SHARON DENISE DIXON               MICHAEL D. CHANDLER

25    DANIEL ”DANNY” SOLIS                 CUAHUTÉMOC MORFÍN

36    JOHN A. RICE                                      NICHOLAS SPOSATO

38    TIMOTHY M. CULLERTON              TOM CARAVETTE

41     MARY O’CONNOR                              MAURITA E. GAVIN

43    MICHELE SMITH                                TIM EGAN

45    JOHN GARRIDO                                  JOHN ARENA

46    MARY ANNE ”MOLLY” PHELAN    JAMES CAPPLEMAN

50    BERNARD L. STONE                          DEBRA L. SILVERSTEIN

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Vox Populi: Regular Folks Respond To BGA Chicago Mayoral Questionnaire

No more parking meter deals without representation! Or at least a financial audit!

That’s a rallying cry the next mayor of Chicago should heed before attempting to spin off any major public assets, such as Midway Airport or the city’s water system, to private investors, according to members of the general public who responded to the 2011 BGA Chicago Mayoral Questionnaire.

In addition, responses to the questionnaire indicate the public craves a tighter, leaner and more accountable city government. But a slim majority doesn’t want to reduce costs by chopping away at the medical and retirement benefits of current city workers.

A total of 32 people responded to the BGA questionnaire. Their reactions come after all six mayoral hopefuls participated in the questionnaire and their answers were posted Jan. 26 on the BGA website. At that time, the BGA invited the general public to take the questionnaire and have their responses posted online.

Admittedly, this is not a scientific poll but rather a means of gauging the candidates’ views and comparing them to a sampling of a broader public response. Here are some highlights:

Selling city assets

A solid 100 percent of the general audience said public hearings and greater financial accountability should be required before any public assets are spun off to private buyers. That answer coincides with all the mayoral hopefuls, who agreed that such basic measures are necessary before the city enters any new privatization deals such as the controversial parking meter deal.

Free Forum: Feb. 9 @ 8 p.m.

The BGA will explore privatization at the Feb. 9 forum, “Privatizing Chicago: The New Chicago Way?” at Columbia College, 618 S. Michigan Ave. at 8 P.M.
>> CLICK HERE for details.

Expanding the Inspector General’s reach

Of those responding to the questionnaire, 94 percent say the Inspector General should have the right to go beyond city agencies and investigate the legislative branch of city government. All six mayoral candidates said they favor this proposal.

Reducing the size of the City Council

Of those responding to the questionnaire, 75 percent want to cut the size of the City Council. Of the six mayoral candidates, Gery Chico and William Walls III said “yes”; Miguel del Valle, Carol Moseley Braun and Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins said “no”; and Rahm Emanuel did not respond within the questionnaire’s parameters.

Reducing the salary of mayor and aldermen

Of those responding to the questionnaire, 91 percent said go for it. Of the six mayoral candidates, Emanuel, del Valle, Chico and Walls agreed to consider it; Moseley Braun and Van Pelt-Watkins said “no” to that possibility.

Merging, streamlining or eliminating departments

Of those responding to the questionnaire, 94 percent said there are places to cut. All the candidates agreed.

Cutting medical, pension benefits for city workers

Of those responding to the questionnaire, nearly 55 percent said “no.” Five of the candidates also said “no” to such cutbacks and Emanuel did not respond within the questionnaire’s parameters.

Police and public safety

Of those responding to the questionnaire, 78 percent said they favor realigning police beats to improve public safety and cut costs. Del Valle, Moseley Braun, Van Pelt-Watkins and Walls said “yes”; Emanuel and Chico said “no.”

Meanwhile, 65 percent said the next Chicago police chief should come from the ranks of the city’s police department. Four of the candidates—del Valle, Moseley Braun, Chico and Walls agreed and said “yes.” Van Pelt-Watkins said “no” and Emanuel did not respond within the questionnaire’s parameters.

Personal Finances

Finally, the candidates’ personal finances are of interest to a large majority of those responding to the questionnaire; 87 percent think a mayoral aspirant should reveal his or her tax returns before the Feb. 22 election. Five of the six candidates agreed while Walls said “no.”

This blog entry was reported and written by Robert Reed, the BGA’s director of programming. Contact us with tips, suggestions and complaints at (312) 821-9030, or email our investigative team at rherguth@bettergov.org.

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Voters’ Guide — 2011 City of Chicago Municipal Elections

When are the 2011 Chicago elections?
>> Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011

What positions are being filled in the 2011 Municipal Elections?
>> Mayor of Chicago
>> City Clerk
>> City Treasurer
>> All 50 City Alderman positions

Am I registered to vote in Chicago?
>> Enter your name and zip code here. If you’re registered, it will also give you your polling place location.

Where is my polling place?
>> Enter your name and zip code here, and it will tell you where to vote. If you’ve moved since the last election, make sure you check to see where your new polling place is before you go—your vote won’t count if you vote in the wrong precinct.

What time are the polls open in Chicago?
>> 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Can I vote early?
>> For all registered voters, early voting is available January 31 – February 17, Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except for Lincoln’s Birthday on Fri., Feb. 11. You can early vote at the Chicago Board of Elections (69 W. Washington), or vote at your ward’s early voting location, found here. To vote early, you must bring ID (a driver’s license, state ID card, or passport).

What’s grace period voting? Does that mean I can still register and vote even though I missed the January 25th registration deadline?
>> If you missed the January 25 registration deadline, you can register and vote in person during “grace period voting” at the Chicago Board of Elections through February 15. To cast your grace period vote, go to 69 West Washington Street, 6th Floor, Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bring two forms of ID, one of which has your current address. A state-issued photo ID and a utility bill in your name are examples of acceptable ID.

Do I need an ID to vote in the Chicago Municipal Elections?

  • Anyone who early votes must bring a government issued photo ID.
  • If you have voted from your current address before, you do not need ID to vote on Election Day.
  • If you’ve changed your address or are voting for the first time at your polling place, you should bring a government issued photo ID to vote on Election Day.

Do I need to bring my voter ID card from the Illinois Board of Elections?
>> No, but you may need to provide a government-issued photo ID as we explained above.

Who should I vote for?
>> That is, of course, entirely up to you. While the BGA does not endorse candidates for public office, we can recommend tools to help you decide:

What is the schedule for candidate debates and forums?
>> There are a variety of mayoral forums and debates planned. Many require advanced registration or membership in a hosting club. You can find information on future mayoral events on WBEZ’s website.

What’s a runoff election?
>> In order to win an elected position in the 2011 Municipal Elections, a candidate must receive a majority, or more than 50 percent of the votes. If no candidate wins on February 22, the top two candidates will compete in a run-off Supplementary Municipal Election on April 5, 2011.

I want to talk to a real person—are there telephone help lines I can call?

  • You can call the Board of Election Commissioners for the City of Chicago: 312.269.7900
  • Voter help line (TTY): 312.269.0027
  • Voter help line (Español): 312.229.0820
  • Voter help line (Polski): 312.223.0823

Where can I watch the Feb. 22 Chicago election returns?
>> The BGA’s Young Professionals Board is hosting a Mayoral Election Watch Party the night of the Municipal Elections. For more information, or to purchase tickets click here.

If there are resources we missed, please add them as a comment.

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