Election 2016

Evan Vucci/AP

The NPR Politics team and reporters across the newsroom will be live-annotating a news conference with President-elect Donald Trump, expected at 10 am today. 

We will be fact-checking and providing background to his remarks in real-time. We will be paying special attention to any comments about conflicts of interest, health care and national security.

You can follow NPR's fact-checker during the news conference here:

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Illinois Elector Seeks Hacking Investigation

Dec 19, 2016
Wikimedia

An Illinois member of the Electoral College wants Congress to investigate allegations of foreign meddling in the November election for U.S. president.

This comes after Illinois electors cast all 20 of their votes for Hillary Clinton.

When former state representative Lauren Beth Gash was called up, she pulled out a smart phone and began reading a prepared statement.

She called for an investigation into allegations of both voter suppression and "direct interference from foreign actors."

Democrat Dan Fellars will be the Winnebago County Board member for District 19.  Preliminary election results had had incumbent Republican John Guevara in the lead.  However, the county recently certified the race's mail-in ballots.  They put Fellars ahead by 47 votes.  

The Rockford Register-Star reports Guevara isn’t ruling out a recount.  If the results stand, the board will have 12 Republicans and 8 Democrats.  

http://kinzinger.house.gov/

Northern Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger declined to elaborate on his presidential vote.   

The Republican visited Illinois Valley Community College yesterday to host his fourth-annual Youth Leadership Summit. The Ottawa Times reports he didn’t vote for Clinton or Trump, but declined to mention his specific choice, citing the secret ballot. 

Republican Frank Haney won the race for Winnebago County Chairman over Democrat John Nelson.  With all precincts reporting, Haney beat Nelson by nearly seven thousand votes.  

Nelson led from the start and for much of the evening.  He amassed a big numerical margin in Rockford but Haney built a lead in the rest of the county as the night wore on to first narrow the gap and then surpass Nelson. 

Incumbent Chairman Scott Christiansen did not seek re-election. 

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

Republican challenger Rick Amato won the race for DeKalb County State’s Attorney against incumbent Richard Schmack.

Amato had about 60 percent of the vote. He says he is humbled by the support.

Amato says he has been in the area since he was a student in the mid-1990s and previously served as assistant state’s attorney for the county.

Landmarks Illinois

Freeport residents voted in favor of changing the city’s form of government from one run by a full-time mayor and city council to one with a city manager running city operations as chief executive.

The measure calling for the change won with 53 percent in favor vs. 47 percent against.  The measure had been backed by a number of businesses and the local chamber of Commerce.  They argued a city the size of Freeport needed a full-time professional running day-to-day operations, and said it would free up the mayor and council to concentrate more on strategic planning.

Two Democratic incumbents in the Illinois House are falling behind their Republican challengers in Tuesday's voting.

In the 71st District, two-term incumbent Democrat Mike Smiddy is trailing well behind challenger Republican Tony McCombie, the mayor of Savanna and a real-estate professional.

With 97 of 106 precincts reporting, the results are:
Tony McCombie (R), 28,921
Mike Smiddy (D), 17,345

The Illinois U.S. House 6th District race features Republican incumbent Peter Roskam and Democratic challenger Amanda Howland.

With 13% of precincts reporting, the count stands at:

Peter Roskam (R), 35,580 (59% -- called winner)

Amanda Howland (D), 24,236 (41%)

Republican Pete DiCianni and Democrat Raja Krishnamurthi are vying for incumbent Tammy Duckworth’s Illinois U.S. House 8th District seat. Duckworth is running for U.S. Senate.

With 35% of precincts reporting, the count stands at:

The City of Beloit is processing absentee ballots at a single location this year, and some have yet to come in.

In the past, absentee ballots were held at city hall until Election Day, and then processed in each of Beloit’s wards.  However, a change in state law allowing no-excuse absentee voting has resulted in more ballots coming in over the years.  

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Certain political candidates are encouraging their supporters to keep an eye out for possible voting fraud on Election Day. 

Jim Tenuto is with the State Board of Elections.  He says poll watchers come in early to see how things are set up. They observe throughout the day and stick around to keep an eye on the vote-counting process. Tenuto says poll watchers can raise a red flag if they think somebody is trying to commit fraud.

 

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

If you’d like to prepare for your votes in the Illinois General Election, WNIJ News offers these links to help you be informed about all the issues.

Compiled below – county by county – are links that will allow you to view the sample ballots that may affect you.

Following those listings are links to the campaign websites of contenders in state and federal primaries.

Boone County

Candidate websites

There wasn't supposed to be an election for a statewide constitutional officer this year.  But Democrats essentially forced one, following the sudden death of Republican Judy Baar Topinka after she'd won the 2014 election for comptroller, but before she'd been inaugurated. 

The race has been expensive and competitive, and it could show who's winning the war of public opinion between Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Who knows what would have happened had Democrats held onto the governor's office in 2014?

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

Taking a selfie at a polling place could be illegal in several states – including Illinois and Wisconsin.

That reminder comes after pop star Justin Timberlake took a selfie at a voting booth in Tennessee.

DeKalb County Clerk Doug Johnson says about 8,000 early votes have been tallied in DeKalb County so far. He says he wants to encourage voter enthusiasm in this election and not scare people, but he says voters must be careful of where they take their post-vote selfies.

More than 4,000 people have voted already in Winnebago County, according to County Clerk Margie Mullins. She says it’s been the highest turnout in all the years of early voting.

And Boone County has ballots from more than 2,100 early voters -- not including ballots that have been mailed out. 

Boone County Clerk and Recorder Mary Steurer says she hopes more people who may be thinking about voting early will beat the potential Election Day crowds.

If Democrats want to retake the U.S. Senate, they'll need Illinois to do it, according to Matt Streb, a political scientist at Northern Illinois University.

The margin is five seats, or four if Hillary Clinton becomes president; that would allow her vice president to cast tie-breaking votes. Right now, polls show Illinois and Wisconsin leaning Democratic with seven other states too close to call.

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Illinois State Board of Elections officials say more than 6 percent of Illinois' record 8 million active registered voters have already cast their ballots with a little more than a week to go until Election Day.

The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports more than 485,400 Illinois residents had voted in the Nov. 8 election as of Thursday morning either by mail, in person or using grace period registration, which allows people to register and cast their ballots simultaneously.

Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk has apologized for mocking Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth's immigrant background and her family's history of military service.

In a Twitter post Friday, Kirk says: "Sincere apologies to an American hero, Tammy Duckworth, and gratitude for her family's service."

At a U.S. Senate debate Thursday in Springfield, Duckworth spoke of how her family has "served this nation in uniform going back to the Revolution."

Kirk responded that he had "forgotten (that her) parents came all of the way from Thailand to serve George Washington."

Campaign websites, social media

The 69th District covers an area of far northern Illinois and includes the communities of Belvidere, Caledonia, Capron, Cherry Valley, Loves Park, Machesney Park, Roscoe, South Beloit, and Timberlane. Republican Joe Sosnowski has represented the district since 2010.

This year, Sosnowski is being challenged by Democrat Angelique Bodine of Poplar Grove. She says she’s running because of her frustration with the state budget impasse, and she pledges to stand up for working families.

Earlier this month, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan held a conference call in which he told Republican members that he would no longer defend Donald Trump. The call came three days after Trump appeared in a 2005 video using lewd and insulting language about women.

The Speaker, concerned about losing the House, freed members to disavow Trump or embrace him -- whatever it took to get re-elected.

House Dist. 74: Butts vs. Swanson

Oct 27, 2016

Democrat Bill Butts faces Republican Daniel Swanson in the race for Illinois House of Representatives in District 74. The district includes Galesburg and Kewanee. 

Incumbent Republican Donald L. Moffitt, who has represented the district for 23 years, is not running for re-election.

Senate Dist. 32: Coyne Challenges Althoff

Oct 27, 2016
Illinois General Assembly / Democratic Party of McHenry County

Democrat Melissa Coyne and incumbent Pamela Althoff, a Republican, will face off in next month’s general election for a two-year term representing

Campaign Websites

The 75th House District race is between Republican incumbent David Welter and Democratic challenger Martha Shugart. 

House Dist. 66: Skillicorn vs. Zettler

Oct 27, 2016

Republican Allen Skillicorn faces Democrat Nancy Zettler in the race for Illinois House of Representatives in District 66. The district includes Crystal Lake and Huntley, down to Elgin. 

Incumbent Republican Michael W. Tyron, who has represented the district since 2005, is not running for re-election.

Senate Dist. 26: Mazeski vs. McConchie

Oct 27, 2016

The race for the seat in Illinois State Senate District 26 pits Democrat Kelly Mazeski against Republican Dan McConchie, who was appointed to the seat on April 20, 2016 to replace fellow Republican Dan Duffy, who resigned to take leadership of a child advocacy group. 

Mazeski has been involved in local politics for a decade, serving on the North Barrington Zoning Board of Appeals, Barrington Hills Plan Commission, and as a North Barrington Village trustee.

Democrat Corinne Pierog is challenging incumbent Republican State Sen. Jim Oberweis for the seat in the 25th Illinois Senate District. The race is a rematch of the 2012 election, when Oberweis beat Pierog by a wide margin to take the seat in what is considered a heavily Republican district.

House Dist. 63: Bartman vs. Reick

Oct 27, 2016
John Bartman Campaign Facebook Page / Steven Reick Campaign Facebook Page

Democrat John Bartman and Republican Steven Reick are vying for Illinois Rep.

House Dist. 68: Sweeney Challenges Cabello

Oct 27, 2016
campaign websites and social media

The 68th district includes portions of Rockford, Machesney Park, Roscoe, Loves Park, and Cherry Valley. This election features a political newcomer against a two-term incumbent.

Republican John Cabello was appointed to the 68th district seat in August 2012 when Rep. Dave Winters resigned. Cabello was elected to the seat three months later and has held the position since then.

There are seven Senate seats and 19 House seats from the WNIJ listening area on the ballot in the fall elections. There also are countless posts at the county level with only one candidate.

Three of the Senate races and eleven House races have only one candidate. That's 14 of 28 legislative seats in the WNIJ area where there is no opportunity to make a choice on the November ballot. In many cases, the lone candidate is the only person who has been on the ballot from the beginning.

You can find out more about each candidate by clicking on his or her name below.

House Dist. 71: McCombie Challenges Smiddy

Oct 26, 2016

Republican Tony McCombie is the mayor of Savanna, Ill. McCombie is a real estate broker with Mel Foster Company and the owner of Blue Appraisals, LLC, a real estate appraisal company that serves Illinois and Iowa.  

Her campaign cites agriculture, protecting second amendment rights, and education as top priorities.

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