Elections 2016

WNIJ and NPR offer special coverage of Election 2016. WNIJ News field reporters and NPR editors nationwide update election news all night.

  • Links to Race Results

Follow the NPR Live Election Blog
Local County-By-County Election Results

Ways to Connect

"Am I Next? Student lie-in at the White House to protest gun laws" by Flickr user Lorie Shaull / (CC x 2.0) /

Students and supporters plan to gather in downtown Rockford for their March For Our Lives event Saturday.

Event organizers say the march, which is a sister event to the national march held by Parkland shooting survivors, begins at 1 p.m. at the city parking lot next to Beattie Park and ends at Davis Park. A rally afterwards will include student activists, a spoken word artist, and Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara.

"Courtroom One Gavel" by Flickr User Beth Cortez-Neavel / (CC BY 2.0)

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments today in Gill v. Whitford, a Wisconsin case challenging partisan legislative maps.

Wendy Tam Cho, a University of Illinois political science professor, says this case is particularly important because it could determine the court’s role in future cases on gerrymandering. 

scottdrury.org

A Democrat hoping to be Illinois’s next governor selected one of his former campaign employees Monday to be his running mate.

North Shore State Representative Scott Drury has selected Alex Hirsch as his running mate. Campaign records show Hirsch was paid by Drury’s campaign fund in 2014 and ‘16.

But it doesn’t appear Hirsch has ever run for political office.

Drury hasn’t advertised his selection on Facebook or Twitter. Instead, in an emailed statement, he describes Hirsch as a Bernie Sanders supporter and a millennial, but also as a “long-time trusted advisor.”

Twitter: @_ErikaHarold

A lawyer who is a former Miss America says she's running for Illinois attorney general.

Erika Harold of Urbana announced plans Tuesday for a Republican bid to challenge four-term Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan in 2018.

Harold, 37, works as an attorney with the Meyer Capel law firm. She says in a statement that career politicians have "made it a nightmare for too many families in our state" and that Illinois needs a government that "works for them, not the powerful."

Brian Mackey/Illinois Public Radio

Some Illinois lawmakers – including Elaine Nekritz, Christine Radogno and Tim Bivins – recently resigned or announced they will not run for re-election. Any options they may have for their next steps could even include lobbying for the time being, under the state’s revolving door policy.

State of Illinois

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan said Democrats are finalizing a proposed state budget plan and could present it to minority Republicans as soon as Tuesday.

Madigan and fellow Chicago Democratic Rep. Greg Harris would not discuss details but said they're devising a spending plan and revenue to pay for it. It might be ready for discussion at Tuesday's meeting of the four legislative leaders. 

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has called state legislators back to Springfield this week to begin 10 special sessions through the end of June.

 

He says he wants a budget deal, but he also is spending money attacking Democrats. The attacks have come in at least three forms: online ads, direct mail, and TV commercials.

 

duckworth.house.gov

Iraq War veteran and Purple Heart recipient Tammy Duckworth – Illinois’s junior senator – is speaking out against President Trump’s executive order on immigration.

She says it amounts to a ban on Muslims and that it actually puts American troops overseas in harm’s way – by giving terrorist groups like ISIS a major recruitment tool.

U.S. Capitol
"United States Capitol" by Flickr User Cliff / (CC X 2.0)

For elected officials in Illinois, attending Donald Trump's inauguration Friday is a political event. And their presence or absence is a political statement.

Several congressmen who represent parts of Chicago are skipping the Inauguration, but their reasons vary.

U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez gave a whole list of reasons in a speech on the House floor for boycotting -- from Trump’s comments on sexually assaulting women to blaming the outcome of a court case on the Mexican heritage of a federal judge.

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:

Loading...

Talk Radio News Service

President Barack Obama is returning to the city that launched his unlikely political career to give one final speech.

He'll deliver in Chicago a parting plea to Americans not to lose faith in their future, no matter what they think about their next president.

Obama's speech before thousands on Tuesday evening is his last chance to try to define what his presidency meant for America, and a fitting bookend.

Chicago is where the nation's first black president declared victory in 2008 and where he cultivated his decidedly optimistic brand of American politics.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has appointed a new transportation secretary as he gears up for a budget battle over how to pay for roads.

Walker announced Tuesday that he has appointed Department of Safety and Professional Services Secretary Dave Ross to serve as secretary of the Department of Transportation. Ross replaces Mark Gottlieb, who plans to resign effective Jan. 6.

Walker's announcement didn't offer any explanation for Gottlieb's resignation. Walker spokesman Tom Evenson said in an email to The Associated Press that Gottlieb plans to retire.

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. 

NPR

Donald Trump captured crucial victories over Hillary Clinton in Florida, Ohio and North Carolina, showing remarkable strength Tuesday night in three of the nation’s most fiercely fought battleground states in an unexpectedly tight race for the presidency.

Clinton carried Virginia and Colorado, as well as California, the nation’s largest prize. With a handful of other states still undecided, neither candidate had cleared the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House.

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.

Voters Tuesday rejected all five local referenda in Winnebago County.

The biggest margin was against the Roscoe proposal to add a 1 percent sales tax for public infrastructure. Almost 70 percent voted no.

The Shirland Township Road District property tax increase was opposed by 66 percent. It would have added $33 to the annual tax bill of a $100,000 home.

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:

state of Illinois

With less than 24 hours until Election Day, gobs of money continues to flow to campaigns for the Illinois statehouse.

Only a fraction of races for the Illinois state House and State Senate are really competitive.

But those that are, are throwing a lot of money toward TV ads.

On Chicago’s Northwest Side, incumbent Republican State Representative Michael McAuliffe brought in $232,000 just in the last week.

That’s almost $100,000 more than his Democratic opponent, Merry Marwig.

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.  

Wikimedia Commons

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?

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk says it's "disappointing" two groups have withdrawn endorsements. He's trying to fight off a challenge from Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth.

Kirk was a rare Republican to receive recommendations from the Human Rights Campaign, which supports gay rights, and a gun control group led by former congresswoman Gabby Giffords. 

Both pulled their endorsements after Kirk made a wisecrack minimizing the Duckworth family legacy of military service; many critics immediately condemned it as racist. 

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.

Pages