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Question of the day

Wednesday, Aug 3, 2022

* Kansas City Star

In the first ballot test of abortion rights in a post-Roe America, Kansas voters turned out in historic numbers to overwhelmingly reject a constitutional amendment that would have opened the door for state lawmakers to further restrict or ban abortions across the state. […]

It upholds a 2019 Kansas Supreme Court ruling that, in response to an attempt to ban a common second-trimester abortion procedure, said Kansans had a right to bodily autonomy and therefore the right to terminate a pregnancy. […]

Advocates for the amendment insisted that the vote would not directly ban abortion. They refused to answer questions about whether they’d seek a ban if it passes, even after Roe was overturned and the National Right to Life Committee published detailed model legislation to ban abortion in all 50 states.

Instead they sought to convince Kansans that, without a change to state constitution, abortion would be rendered unregulated and uninhibited in the state. Kansas, they said, was guaranteed to be a destination for abortion.

The pro-choice side won 59-41. The turnout was huge and generally unexpected in Kansas.

* Vox

But it’s difficult to make broad declarations based on the results of one race. On Election Day, abortion measures in California, Vermont, Montana, and Kentucky (and likely Michigan as well) will give more data on what Americans want. And it’s important to remember that abortion won’t directly be on most ballots in the fall; voters will instead largely be weighing in on candidates with a range of stances on a variety of issues. Still, it’s notable that a red state struck down a pathway to greater abortion restrictions so forcefully, and that so many voters who usually don’t vote in midterm primaries showed up this time.

It’s too late to put a state constitutional amendment on the Illinois ballot this fall for an up or down vote on abortion rights.

* The Question: Should a special session of the General Assembly place a non-binding referendum on the ballot this November to gauge public support for a constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Clueless - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 12:52 pm:

    The GA should go straight to passing a joint resolution asking the voters to amend the constitution to protect woman’s rights.

  2. - Norseman - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 12:53 pm:

    Yes. It will drive up voter turnout.

  3. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 12:54 pm:

    If they are able? Yes.


    Congressional races, Illinois Supreme Court races…

    Ginning up the incumbent (White House) party’s base in an off-year is predicated on the idea of motivating a possibly depressed party’s voters.

    Will the Trumpkin-Raunerite-GOPers want to run against this referendum? The last thing that party wants is a motivated Democratic voting base.

    This would only help in motivation.

    If it can be done, absolutely

  4. - Laura - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 12:54 pm:

    Note to Republican legislators and Statewide Candidates, Kansas = Downstate Illinois

  5. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 12:55 pm:

    === It’s too late to put a state constitutional amendment on the Illinois ballot this fall for an up or down vote on abortion rights.===

    - Clueless -… please note.

  6. - Lurker - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 12:56 pm:

    No. Non-binding referendum not needed and more democrat enthusiasm not needed as I see no way they should lose any race.

  7. - Laura - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 12:57 pm:

    ==The GA should go straight to passing a joint resolution asking the voters to amend the constitution to protect woman’s rights.==

    Yes, anything less, especially after the Kansas landslide, will be perceived as a half measure and weak.

  8. - Amalia - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 12:57 pm:

    Yes. Turn that out.

  9. - Montrose - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 12:57 pm:

    Yep, for the reasons already stated. I am having hard time thinking of a downside for the Dems.

  10. - DuPage Saint - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 12:58 pm:

    I voted no because it is settled here. But as is already being pointed out Democrats absolutely should. It will drive up the vote for them. Although with the Republicans running the Democrats probably don’t need any help

  11. - Vote Quimby - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 12:58 pm:

    I voted yes because I want to see some actual election results on the issue… not polls. I think Kansas represents the minimum level of support (at a state level nationwide) and in many .. perhaps some surprising … states the actual number is very high.

  12. - Montrose - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 1:02 pm:

    “I voted no because it is settled here”

    The more we get down on the record that a majority of Illinoisans want to protect a woman’s right to chose, the better. Just because it settled now doesn’t mean there couldn’t be threats in the future.

  13. - Lake County Mom - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 1:03 pm:

    No, we already have safeguards in Illinois for Reproductive Rights. Better to use that time and money elsewhere; like attracting new residents or gun safety laws.

  14. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 1:05 pm:


    We took this path for the legalization of cannabis at the state level, with a few minor procedural differences. We have a good recent roadmap of how the process works, and we should use it to create a state that reflects the desires of its voters. This is the method we created to accomplish that.

  15. - Anyone Remember - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 1:06 pm:

    Yes. The =avid= anti-abortion crowd has a much more extensive agenda, abortion is just the tip of the iceberg. Discussion prompted by the measure will help pull back their curtain.

  16. - Ducky LaMoore - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 1:06 pm:

    Politically, yes. Democrats should do it. It will drive more turnout in the suburbs to help in the congressional races. And it will also drive turnout in southern Illinois. But do the Democrats really care if Miller wins with 80% of the vote instead of 70%? I wouldn’t care.

  17. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 1:07 pm:

    - more democrat enthusiasm not needed -

    Thank you sir, may I have another?


  18. - Pundent - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 1:07 pm:

    =I voted no because it is settled here.=

    Yeah, well they used to say that about Roe v. Wade so I think we all know that “settled” means nothing.

    As to the referendum itself? Yes, it’s good politics and policy and seems to align with where the majority of voters are in this state. If the ILGOP finds themselves out of step its within their power to figure out what to do about it.

  19. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 1:07 pm:

    === like attracting new residents or gun safety laws.===

    It’s a non-binding referendum.

    The only thing that is settled with Abortion in Illinois is that today it likely won’t change but *all* those folks that want to remind on taxes… it can always change.

    Holding the GOP accountable to women’s health, this referendum also reminds voters… the GOP is NOT a pro-choice party. Not a great thing these days… otherwise Bailey wouldn’t be backpedaling on the issue, let alone backpedaling on a comparison to… the Holocaust.

  20. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 1:11 pm:

    ===Non-binding referendum not needed and more democrat enthusiasm not needed as I see no way they should lose any race.===

    “Why take a chance?”

    If Foster loses, if Casten loses, the DCCC is counting on Illinois being 14-3 to have any chance at keeping a majority, the abortion issue, a national issue, could save the congress for Dems.

    Will it? Dunno.

    Losing either Foster and/or Casten won’t help

  21. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 1:22 pm:

    No. Do it for real, or don’t do it. There are enough issues out there that Dems should be able to use to their advantage, without spending time, money, and energy on a pretend vote.

  22. - Jocko - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 1:24 pm:

    Voted No. Dems would only be ‘running up the score’ and pushing the ILGOP further away ideologically.

  23. - NickNombre - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 1:29 pm:

    I voted no. Non-binding referendums are almost always a political stunt. They should wait until they can add it as a constitutional amendment.

  24. - flea - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 1:30 pm:

    I voted no. dont go looking for any trouble.

  25. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 1:30 pm:

    It’s should be pretty easy to pass.

    Just have JB put out a commercial telling republicans to vote no on it.

  26. - TheDudeAbides - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 1:32 pm:

    Kansas is a red state and the resolution was still defeated 60-40. Most people think Roe shouldn’t have been overturned. The Democrats best hope is to play this to the hilt from now to November.

  27. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 1:32 pm:

    Yes. Voters deserve the opportunity to make their voices heard on the issue, and it is too late to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot. Maybe the ILGA should’ve teed up the amendment for this election, but it is no use crying over spilled milk now.

  28. - MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 1:33 pm:

    On the one hand, I should vote YES because it would give the Democrats and pro-choice candidates an advantage in November.

    On the other hand, I should vote NO because a woman’s right to bodily autonomy should not be the subject of a popularity contest.

    – MrJM

  29. - MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 1:39 pm:

    “Dems would only be ‘running up the score’ and pushing the ILGOP further away ideologically.”

    Republicans do what they do, say what they say and vote how they vote, solely because Republicans choose to do, say and vote that way.

    The notion that Democrats are somehow responsible for GOP extremism is beyond laughable.

    – MrJM

  30. - Roadrager - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 1:39 pm:

    ==Voted No. Dems would only be ‘running up the score’ and pushing the ILGOP further away ideologically.==

    How has “reaching across the aisle” worked out for, say, the last fourteen years?

    This is the Bailey argument again and again. The Republicans don’t want to be misogynist, racist, theocratic extremists, no sir, not ever. It’s always those evil Democrats making them do it. Out of context.

  31. - Lincoln Lad - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 1:45 pm:

    I voted no as it is already settled here. In reading the comments, I agree it would drive up turnout, but I’m not sure I agree with using this issue as a ploy for turnout.

  32. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 1:46 pm:

    I said no; it’s just too attenuated from any real action on the subject, and JB is already making sure his race is enough of a proxy fight on abortion.

  33. - Lefty Lefty - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 1:58 pm:

    I voted Yes. It must be made abundantly clear nationwide - in blue, red, and purple states - where we the people stand on this issue and the related attacks on privacy and women’s rights. This country is not a theocracy, and it must be demonstrated to those who think it should be, especially on Election Day.

  34. - NotRich - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 2:00 pm:

    NO!!! the citizens of Illinois are safer when a particular group of 177 are not in Springfield

  35. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 2:01 pm:

    ===But do the Democrats really care if Miller wins with 80% of the vote instead of 70%? I wouldn’t care.===

    Voted Yes.

    Also, I doubt in this district that Miller will get all Republicans to vote for her, and some Republicans might vote for such a referendum. It’s the General, not the Primary. Votes are more “private” (eg. the Parties can’t drill down to how you voted). Would be interesting to see the percentage of votes Miller would get vs the percentage of votes such a referendum would get. She might actually get fewer.

    And yes, this Independent voter does care (and the Dems should as well) how many votes she gets. My vote will NOT be one of them.

  36. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 2:10 pm:

    What MrJM said (because it is always so well stated) x2.

    =I voted no because it is settled here.=

    This has become right wing code talk for we won’t take ‘no’ for an answer and lack the character to be upfront and honest with our intentions.

  37. - Nuke The Whales - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 2:17 pm:

    == Kansas = Downstate Illinois ==
    While both (as of 2022) are largely red with dots of blue, the two are radically different. There is no ideologically moderate faction in the IL Downstate Republicans whereas moderates are very much part of the Kansas Republican Party, though there have been defections during and after Sam Brownback’s Raunerian wave of terror.

  38. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 2:18 pm:

    – Note to Republican legislators and Statewide Candidates, Kansas = Downstate Illinois –

    Not entirely. Johnson County,KS is the DuPage County of metro KC and the state of Kansas. Those are college educated, high income households. Overland Park, KS = Naperville.
    More than 1/5 of the state’s population lives in Johnson County. You saw near record level turnout for a primary in JoCo, KS. More than 53 percent.

    The last update on the county election site has:
    76,767 voted for the amendment.
    166,060 voted against the amendment.

    The statewide lesson is you always want to be on the winning side of suburban politics.

  39. - Vote Quimby - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 2:27 pm:

    Looking at the county map of Kansas with the referendum results, it does look a lot like Illinois would IMO: urban/suburban areas in favor, and wide swaths of rural areas agin’

  40. - illinifan - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 2:53 pm:

    I voted yes. This would be a good tactic to ensure the issue is at the forefront for voters and help offer contrast with persons who are on the ballot especially some of the judicial races.

  41. - XonXoff - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 2:58 pm:

    Voted yes for a perceived increase in voter turnout alone. I just don’t want any room for debate after this one.

  42. - Arguenda - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 3:06 pm:

    Abortion is a tangential concern - the voters will correct the course in the end. And if they don’t, well, Illinois has another reason to be a destination.

    We need to get protections for LGBTQ citizens before they lose everything. Stat.

  43. - Huh? - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 3:23 pm:

    “it is settled here”

    Until the political winds change …

    Voted yes. What Mr. JM said ×3.

  44. - IllinoisCitizen - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 3:53 pm:

    Voted no. Not because I believe it is “settled” here, although for the foreseeable future, it is enshrined in law — not just judicial decisions. My no vote is because I hate performative votes that don’t accomplish anything. If you want to do something (which I don’t know if they could) — pass the bill right now that puts it on the NEXT election as binding. Why waste our time on an advisory vote that we could just ask CapitolFax to do a real good poll and likely get a pretty similar outcome? Probably cheaper, too.

  45. - clec dcn - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 3:58 pm:

    I voted no. Abortion is wrong in all cases to me it is not something the pro-life group should go around and drum up hate. Unfortunately, abortions are going to happen even if it is illegal. The better approach is simply to proclaim life and do what we can to advance and live that example. Victory in this will not come about by making laws but changing hearts.

  46. - Joe Bidenopolous - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 3:59 pm:


    Obviously the politics of it are good for Democrats and that’s a reason. But, we need to get as many Americans as possible recorded on this issue. We need that so Republican officials understand the electoral consequences. More importantly, we need it show Republican voters that their leaders are out of step with them and amoral.

  47. - Furtive Look - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 4:08 pm:

    I voted no. There is nothing stupider than a “non-binding” referendum.

  48. - Bruce( no not him) - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 4:13 pm:

    Voted no.
    Non-binding means nothing.
    Wait and do it right. The Illinois political winds won’t change that fast.

  49. - Steve - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 4:20 pm:

    I voted yes. Illinois voters want a constitutional amendment, which is coming as soon as possible.

  50. - Yooper in Diaspora - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 4:43 pm:

    Voted yes because it is a way to express a perspective, and would gauge the numerical strength of support and opposition across the state. But I see the point of those who want to go straight to the steps of an actual constitutional amendment.

  51. - Dotnonymous - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 4:44 pm:

    Voted Yes…because the visible show of support.

  52. - Pundent - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 4:48 pm:

    The GOP as it currently exists poses a threat to women’s health. The logical way to counter that threat is by electing more Democrats. And if the referendum gets more like minded individuals to the polls then it’s accomplished it’s objective.

  53. - anon2 - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 5:08 pm:

    If Demorcrats want the nonbinding referendum to mean something, they could pledge to follow the results.

  54. - Proud Papa Bear - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 5:53 pm:

    Voted no, but barely.
    In general, I don’t care for non-binding referenda. I realize it could help “my side’s” turnout but I’m still naive enough to stand on principle.
    As a wise commenter said earlier, a right shouldn’t be up for a vote.
    I do have to note how interesting it’s been to see this virtually deadlocked at 50/50 all day.

  55. - G'Kar - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 6:10 pm:

    When I voted the results were exactly 50-50. I’ve never seen one of these polls so close.

    I voted no, as I saw it as a political stunt. However, after reading the comments, I would probably vote yes.

  56. - FormerParatrooper - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 6:38 pm:

    Have the referendum, it will only show what support there is either way. Regardless of what my position or beliefs are about abortion, this is an issue that only the citizenry can decide. Not the politicians, not the Courts.

    Bring an Amendment to the State Constitution up to vote if the referendum shows enough voters support it. Once enough States have done this, the offer an Amendment to the US Constitution. Only then can we consider the issue “settled” until enough votes can be to repeal that new Amendment.

  57. - Enviro - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 6:40 pm:

    I voted yes. The people deserve a chance to express their opinion and to see if Illinois voters are ready to amend the constitution to protect woman’s rights.

  58. - Majority of Me - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 7:41 pm:

    I voted no. I support reproductive rights and am afraid the “test case” will take the sails of an actual constitutional amendment later when people may hear the General Assembly crying wolf. Also, Darrin Bailey will draw enough people on this issue on both sides this election.

  59. - Odysseus - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 8:35 pm:

    “Should a special session of the General Assembly place a non-binding referendum on the ballot this November to gauge public support for a constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights?”

    Do or do not, there is no try.
    Schedule it for 2024 if it is too late now.

  60. - Ares - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 8:39 pm:

    No - no - no - no - no. Roe v Wade is such a “third rail” issue that even some law school professors are reluctant to discuss it in their classes, despite the case’s landmark status. Our State and Nation have enough issues to deal with, in the current political landscape.

  61. - Flapdoodle - Wednesday, Aug 3, 22 @ 9:44 pm:

    Some times and issues require taking a stand. Abortion rights are just one aspect of the narrowing of individual rights occurring in this country. It is imperative to take every opportunity to make clear that the majority in this state and country stand against SCOTUS’s clear willingness to use judicial means to accomplish otherwise unattainable restrictive political goals and the anti-democratic ravings of GOP anti-democratic rightwing nutcases. Voted yes.

  62. - Really - Thursday, Aug 4, 22 @ 5:57 am:

    Voted no. Being done to score political points and not for any real reason. If they aren’t willing to amend the constitution to fix the pensions, or help Illinois residents financially through the Biden sponsored recession, this doesn’t really belong on the ballot.

  63. - NotMe - Thursday, Aug 4, 22 @ 6:58 am:

    I voted no. If it were early enough in the year to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot, perhaps. But non-binding referenda are a ploy by the very same members who didn’t want to take votes on HB40, RHA, & PNA repeal to be able to say they “did something” when in fact they will have done less than nothing with that vote. There are real, substantive things we can and should do at the appropriate time to afford protections to providers and patients & giving more conservative members an out with a cynical and symbolic act isn’t the play here. Also, MrMJM hit the nail on the head: rights are not the subject of a popularity contest.

  64. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 4, 22 @ 7:27 am:

    ===If they aren’t willing to amend the constitution to fix the pensions===

    You’re comparing pensions to securing the rights of half of the population to their bodies?

    Even the bonding houses, and their upgrades, are confused by your thoughts.

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