Public Affairs

By the numbers: Chicago’s 2015 elections

By Laura Furr & Emily Hoerner

Updated 4:30 p.m. 2/25/15

Hours after the polls closed, unofficial summary data from the Chicago Board of Elections show new lows in voter turnout, with many races left unanswered.

The polling results show that fewer voters turned out in the chilly February weather than in the last decade, at only 32.7 percent of registered voters voting. Continue reading

School counselor forces 10th Ward runoff

By Lizz Giordano and Sarah Kramer

Political newcomer Sue Sadlowski Garza forced incumbent Ald. John Pope into a runoff to defend his 10th Ward Chicago City Council seat after a campaign that split the field between grassroots movements.

With 35 of 36 precincts reporting, Pope had garnered just 45 percent of the vote, shy of the 50 percent plus one vote threshold required for the incumbent to avoid a runoff challenge. Continue reading

Garcia spoils Emanuel’s election night party

By Phoebe Tollefson

Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia managed to dampen the mood at Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s election night party Tuesday by temporarily overcoming the mayor’s approximately $30 million war chest and forcing the city’s first-ever runoff election on April 7.

At the Journeyman Plumbers Union Local 130 on the Near West Side, Emanuel supporters waited patiently for their candidate. Emanuel received nearly 46 percent of the vote, just less than the 50-percent-plus-one vote threshold he needed to avoid a runoff. Garcia took 34 percent and Alderman Bob Fioretti took 7 percent. Willie Wilson garnered nearly 11 percent of votes and William “Dock” Walls took 3 percent. Continue reading

Top 6 Election Day Pseudo-Scandals

By Kate Morrissey and Karin Vandraiss

The Daley dynasty may be a thing of the past, but Chicago politics are still alive and well. Between questionable politicking and social media sass, this year’s election hasn’t disappointed when it comes to shenanigans worthy of the Windy City.

1. Doughnut-debacle 2015. Best enjoyed with your own Box O’Joe, some poll watchers from Patrick Daley Thompson’s campaign were observed offering voters coffee and doughnuts prior to casting their votes.

A table with free donuts and coffee was set up in the middle of a Bridgeport polling station this morning by poll watchers who told voters to vote for Richard Daley Thompson while they were standing within the anti-electioneering “campaign free zone.”
A table with free donuts and coffee was set up in the middle of a Bridgeport polling station this morning by poll watchers who told voters to vote for Richard Daley Thompson while they were standing within the anti-electioneering “campaign free zone.”

2. Snooze button struggle. Carol Ronen, Democratic Committeewoman of the 48th Ward, said that a judge showed up late to the polling location for the 27th precinct, which delayed its opening. Voters took to social media to express their frustration.

Gerald Farinas Facebook post
Gerald Farinas said via Facebook that he wants to vote for Willie Wilson, but his polling place was closed when he went before work. (Gerald Farinas/Facebook)

3. Like a good neighbor. Alderman John Arena (45th) seemed a little salty about the present left at his door. Residents responded with a mix of support and questions about proof.

4. Red light karma. A Chicago Tribune reporter caught the mayoral motorcade running yet another red light.

5. “A little mysterious,” but nothing serious. Willie Wilson called for an investigation into calibration issues with polling machines causing “voting  irregularities,” but The Election Board isn’t taking his claims too seriously.

6. Bear down, voters. Twitter user @charlescubfan wrote in Mike Ditka for treasurer and posted a picture of his ballot. The Election Board was not amused.


Photo at top: Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the Chinese New Year parade in Chinatown. (Ezra Kaplan/Medill)



VIDEO: Education key for young hockey players

By Lukas J. Voss

Focusing on athletics and academics at the same time can be difficult for young athletes, especially in a sport like hockey that requires a large time commitment and plenty of driving to get to rinks and tournaments. Bridgedale academy is trying to change that. The school is offering students the ability to practice and study in the same place. Providing excellence in academics and athletics is just one of their goals.

Continue reading

Fioretti takes break from campaigning for pastrami

By Stephanie Choporis and Elizabeth Elving

Alderman Bob Fioretti began his morning as many Chicagoans did- -by heading to the polls. He cast his ballot at his own polling place, an assisted-living facility at 1504 W. Van Buren, alongside fiancee Nicki Pecori. He remained optimistic about his own election day prospects, in spite of a recent Chicago Tribune poll giving him only 7 percent of the vote. “I think we are going to be in the run-off,” he said. “I think it looks pretty good,” he said.

Continue reading