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Isabel’s mid-day news roundup (Updated)

Tuesday, Mar 19, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Shenanigans?

Click here for the Sun-Times and WBEZ’s live coverage of today’s primary elections. From their story about those above tweets

U.S. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” Garcia‘s campaign team started Election Day with an allegation against opponent Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th).

The Congressman’s campaign told the Sun-Times that Lopez’s team members were spotted giving away doughnuts and “envelopes of cash” to election judges in the alderman’s own ward. Volunteers from the Garcia campaign spotted the alleged incidents and subsequently reported them to the Board of Elections, said Garcia campaign spokesperson Manuel Diaz.

Lopez (15th) and his team did provide the election judges with doughnuts, coffee and $50 for lunch, the alderman said, but adds that providing for the polling workers and judges is nothing out of the ordinary, and Rep. Garcia’s team has a “lack of respect for election judges.”

* Capitol News Illinois

* More Election Day coverage…

    * Tribune | Election Day in Illinois: Primary voters head to the polls on a chilly morning — and early numbers are down: The Voting Super Site at 191 N. Clark St. was quiet when polls opened with dozens of volunteers ready to assist voters as they began to trickle in. Across Chicago, voters can access more than 50 early-voting centers in the city or vote at their assigned precincts.

    * WBEZ | It’s in the hands of voters now, as they cast Illinois primary ballots in a slew of pivotal races: After months of shaking hands, stuffing mailboxes and flooding the airwaves with ads, scores of political candidates across Illinois will hand their fates to the voters in hopes of advancing to November’s general election. But most of the local-level electoral drama will be resolved tonight in many of the contests around deep-blue Chicago, where a Democratic nomination usually signals smooth campaign sailing into the fall. That’s also the case for many Republican-leaning areas of the state, where a GOP primary win can suggest a candidate is as good as elected.

    * Center Square | State Senate race omitted from vote-by-mail ballots in Will County: Samantha Gasca is a candidate in the Republican primary for the 19th Senate District. A voter in the district approached Gasca and told her there was no race on her vote-by-mail ballot. “This could have been a plain mistake, but at the same time these mistakes are made in contested Republican races and when it happens to Democrats, they do a voter recall,” Gasca told The Center Square. “They’ll stop the race.”

    * AP | Illinois voters to decide competitive US House primaries around the state: In southern Illinois, Republican Rep. Mike Bost faces only his second intraparty challenge in seeking his sixth term in Congress. Former state Sen. Darren Bailey, the unsuccessful 2022 GOP nominee for governor, is hoping to unseat the 63-year-old incumbent.

    * KSDK | US Rep. Mike Bost says a Bailey upset would be ‘bizarre’: “I’m gonna act like (Bailey) may (pull off the upset), and we’re gonna keep working through it,” Bost said during his ‘Road to Victory Tour’ on Monday afternoon. “My main goal is to make sure that the votes come out.” Several other power players in the right wing political arena have supported Bost over Bailey, too, including the National Rifle Association, the National Federation of Independent Business, Speaker Mike Johnson, former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, and U.S. Reps. Elise Stefanik, Jim Jordan and Byron Donalds.

    * Patch | Khalil and Ryan Battle For Open Seat In 36th District: Primary 2024: After representing the 36th District for the last 14 years, Rep. Kelly Burke announced last year that she would not be seeking another term after recovering from colon cancer. During her tenure in the state legislature, Burke was elected mayor of Evergreen Park in 2021 and served both roles. Neither candidate has broad name recognition in the district. Ryan is an attorney with a private practice in Oak Lawn, and Khalil has served as the administrative services coordinator for the City of Markham.

* Very wholesome

…Adding… Chicago Board of Elections…

Please see below for the updated Chicago Voter Turnout as of 12:00 Noon on Election Day, 3/19/24:

207,339 total ballots cast (includes EV and VBM)
1,697,498 active registered voters in Chicago
12.21% citywide turnout so far

Ballots Cast By Age Group:

17 -24: 5,901 ballots cast – 2.84%
25-34: 23,453 ballots cast – 11.31%
35-44: 26,486 ballots cast – 12.77%
45-54: 26,991 ballots cast – 13.02%
55-64: 40,089 ballots cast – 19.34%
65-74: 48,569 ballots cast – 23.42%
75+: 35,850 ballots cast – 17.29%

Ballots Cast Per Hour:

6:00am-7:00am: 3,043 ballots cast
7:00am-8:00am: 5,031 ballots cast
8:00am-9:00am: 9,196 ballots cast
9:00am-10:00am: 9,143 ballots cast
10:00am-11:00am: 9,974 ballots cast
11:00am-12:00pm: 11,500 ballots cast
(47,887 Election Day ballots cast so far)

* Illinois Times

An Illinois State Police investigation failed to determine how a 17-year-old obtained the handgun he fired inside the Sangamon County Juvenile Detention Center and carried as he tried to escape the facility with a hostage Sept. 30 before being shot by police.

Camren Marcelis Darden, 17, was hit by several rounds fired from a semi-automatic rifle by veteran Springfield police officer Brian Riebeling a few minutes before 8 p.m. Sept. 30. Darden was transported to HSHS St. John’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead about two hours later.

“The investigation did not conclusively determine how the gun got into the detention center and into the hands of the juvenile,” Sangamon County State’s Attorney John Milhiser said in a statement to Illinois Times. […]

It’s possible that authorities may never learn how Darden obtained the gun, Circuit Judge Ryan Cadagin said.

* Chicago City Council’s Progressive Caucus finally weighed in

* More…

    * Capitol News Illinois | After being rebuffed by regulators, utilities file slimmed-down spending plans: ComEd is asking for $7.6 billion in spending on grid improvements, a 10.7 percent decrease from their rejected plan. Ameren is seeking $1.88 billion in capital spending, about a 15.7 percent decrease from its previous request. The plans also include the companies’ operational spending, which would be similar to current levels.

    * Capitol News Illinois | Illinois high court asked to review law limiting venue in constitutional challenges: The Illinois Supreme Court is being asked to decide on the constitutionality of a new state law that says constitutional challenges to state laws and actions can only be filed in Cook or Sangamon counties. Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office on Monday filed an appeal directly to the Supreme Court after a Madison County judge last week ruled that the law violated the due process rights of one plaintiff in a lawsuit in that jurisdiction.

    * AFSCME Council 31 | We oppose Gov. Pritzker’s plan to demolish Stateville, Logan prisons: Closing the facilities for an extended period would all too likely disrupt and potentially destabilize the prison system. What’s more, doing so would bring upheaval to the lives of affected employees and individuals in custody. The state corrections agency did not seek or consider the input of frontline employees or the union in the development of this plan.

    * Capitol News Illinois | Pritzker executive order creates advisory council for affordable sickle cell treatment: In December, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first gene therapies to treat sickle cell disease. They cost between $2 million and $3 million dollars per patient. Pritzker said Illinois Medicaid covers over 50 percent of patients with sickle cell disease. “The cost of treatment – over $2 million – leaves it inaccessible,” he said.

    * SJ-R | Ahead of primary in Illinois, Trump renews war of words with Pritzker: Both Biden and Trump have reached the necessary number of delegates to clinch their party’s respective nomination, which will be made official at the party conventions in Milwaukee from July 15-18 for the Republicans and in Chicago from Aug. 19-22 for the Democrats.

    * SJ-R | Repeal of state grocery tax could cost city of Springfield millions: Officials from the Office of Budget and Management estimate the city of Springfield would lose about $3.8 million in revenue for the year if Gov. JB Pritzker’s call to repeal the Illinois grocery sales tax is successful. Mayor Misty Buscher said she wished some sort of “sunset clause” would have been implemented. As it stands now, the 1% tax could permanently be removed by July 1, if approved by the general assembly.

    * Rockford Register Star | These 3 items top Rockford’s wish list as it renews lobbyist contract: Seeking pension relief, restoration of state funding and fewer unfunded mandates, Rockford on Monday agreed to renew its contract with lobbyist Michael Cassidy of Zephyr Government Strategies. The contract approved unanimously by City Council will pay Cassidy $10,000 per month or $120,000 in 2024. Cassidy has served as the city’s lobbyist since 2009.

    * Crain’s | Proposed Realtor settlement could mean big changes for home buying and selling: There’s at least some general consensus among real estate industry experts that buyers and sellers of homes will still pay Realtors, but the period in which 5%-to-6% commissions paid by sellers and split between the two agents seems to be on its way out.

    * Sun-Times Editorial Board | As Bally’s troubles mount, City Hall has to make sure casino is a winning bet: Bally’s cash problems are serious enough for the company to form a special committee last week to evaluate a $15-a-share buyout offer from New York hedge fund Standard General. But two years ago, Bally’s stock was being offered at $33 a share, and a buyout bid at that price was rejected by the gamer — which should raise alarms about the direction in which the company is heading and its ability to build the Chicago casino as promised.

    * Bloomberg | ‘No California, no Chicago’ on this restaurateur’s menu: And yet, since opening the first Carbone in New York in 2013, Zalaznick and his partners, chefs Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi, seem to have defied the odds, Allen said. They’ve transformed their pricey take on mid-century Italian-American cuisine into a global operation.

    * AP | Supreme Court extends block on Texas law that would allow police to arrest migrants: A one-page order signed by Justice Samuel Alito indefinitely prevents Texas from enforcing a sweeping state immigration enforcement law that had been set to take effect this month. The language of the order strongly suggests the court will take additional action, but it is unclear when. It marks the second time Alito has extended a pause on the law, known as Senate Bill 4, which the Justice Department has argued would step on the federal government’s immigration powers. Monday’s order extending the stay came a few minutes after a 5 p.m. deadline the court had set for itself, creating momentary confusion about the measure’s status.

    * WSIL | Phones, Internet Restoring Across Southern Illinois: hone and internet services are starting to come back online across portions of southern Illinois. The WSIL News 3 station’s phone and internet services were restored just before 5:30 p.m. Other agencies and area businesses have said their services were restored as well.

    * Tribune | With more funding rolling in and planning underway, a redesign of Chicago Union Station is moving forward: The project is expected to include overhauling the concourse to improve the way passengers move through the area, renovating and expanding station platforms — including those on the south concourse used primarily by Metra’s BNSF line — and bringing platforms into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    * WGN | Lollapalooza 2024 official lineup released: This year’s headliners include SZA, Tyler The Creator, Blink-182, The Killers, Future, Metro Boomin, Hozier, Stray Kids, Melanie Martinez and Skrillex. Other acts include Deftones, Tate McRae, Laufey, Conan Gray, Reneé Rapp, Lizzy McAlpine, Fisher, Labrinth — among many more.

    * IMA | Voters Narrow Field to Top 16 Coolest Products Made in Illinois: More than 200 unique products from across the state were nominated for the 2024 title of The Coolest Thing Made in Illinois. After two weeks of voting, the field has been narrowed to the Top 16. The top four vote-getters from the initial round of voting are the BoulePro 200AX manufactured by USACH in Elgin; Mullen’s Imitation French Dressing made by Mullen’s in Palestine; P15 Tamper Evident Cap and Spout for Flexible Pouch Packaging manufactured by Hoffer Plastics Corporation in South Elgin; and the Gindo’s Hot Sauce made by Gindo’s Spice of Life in St. Charles.


  1. - Suburban Mom - Tuesday, Mar 19, 24 @ 11:49 am:

    oh my gosh, I LOVE that kiddie ballot. Spouse and I always each take a kid with us to vote, because we want them to understand that it’s important, and both a duty and a privilege. They often have “Future Voter” stickers for kids in my precinct but the kiddie ballot is *adorable* and my elementary schooler would get a kick out of filling in her own ballot

  2. - Wowie - Tuesday, Mar 19, 24 @ 11:53 am:

    Seems like a relatively easy thing to prove by Chuy and Ald. Ortiz if they have proof….

  3. - Siualum - Tuesday, Mar 19, 24 @ 11:56 am:

    Re: the Lopez “gifts” to election judges - seems improper enough to give election judges coffee and donuts on Election Day, but cash as well? C’mon, dude.

  4. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 19, 24 @ 11:58 am:

    ===seems improper enough to give election judges coffee and donuts===


    Have you ever been to a polling place?

  5. - Wowie - Tuesday, Mar 19, 24 @ 12:02 pm:

    == seems improper enough to give election judges coffee and donuts on Election Day==

    It is the responsibility of the Committeeperson of each ward to provide them with food. Election workers are already understaffed and underpaid and have no capacity to run out for lunch (especially considering lunch is one of the busiest periods at a polling place) and be expected to put it on their own card.

    If it is true that Lopez is giving envelopes of cash, that’s of course a different story. But providing food and drink is normal behavior.

  6. - Amalia - Tuesday, Mar 19, 24 @ 12:02 pm:

    Kids ballot with Fred Hampton for Director of Public Safety???? what the…. re chuy and lopez believe the donuts prohibition started a while ago. the cash is old school. Please tell me that they called not just the Board of elections but the AG’s office which has AAGs out and about. cause they sure can’t trust Kim Foxx’s ASAs to be trained in this kind of work. call law enforcement. always. campaigns 101.

  7. - Ucci - Tuesday, Mar 19, 24 @ 12:08 pm:

    Oh wow, he actually admitted to it!

    “Lopez (15th) and his team did provide the election judges with doughnuts, coffee and $50 for lunch, the alderman said”

  8. - jackmac - Tuesday, Mar 19, 24 @ 12:13 pm:

    Loved the ballot for kids! Ketchup on hot dogs? Fine by me. Growing up my condiments of choice on on hot dogs were ketchup and mustard. I liked to keep it simple.

  9. - Northsider - Tuesday, Mar 19, 24 @ 12:20 pm:

    That kids’ ballot is great (banned punctuation)

    Some rather cheeky pairings there. ;>)

  10. - H-W - Tuesday, Mar 19, 24 @ 12:20 pm:

    It will be interesting to see what the IL Supreme Court does with the law requiring all challenges to state law appear in either Chicago or Springfield.

    It seems almost frivolous that the IL Supreme Court will have to hear this just to overturn a frivolous ruling from a lower court. But these are the times we live in I suppose.

  11. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Tuesday, Mar 19, 24 @ 12:26 pm:

    I was an election judge for two elections. The cash is inappropriate, but it is custom and proper for an alderperson or committeeperson to buy lunch. It is a rough day, and you really do not get paid enough for working like a 16 hour day.

  12. - Al - Tuesday, Mar 19, 24 @ 12:30 pm:

    Election day used to be long. Then do gooders expanded the hours. The $50 is for Supper too. I don’t see anyone risking jail over a few dollars to have Grub Hub deliver two meals. Don’t waste our time. Put your message on the street.

  13. - H-W - Tuesday, Mar 19, 24 @ 12:32 pm:

    Perhaps the Garcia team could also donate $50.00 to the lunch fund of a precinct. You know, make lemonade instead of commenting on the lemons.

  14. - Sheila - Tuesday, Mar 19, 24 @ 12:34 pm:

    Is Rep Ortiz confusing poll watchers with election judges? If not, this seems like something that could result in a defamation lawsuit - if not proved - similar to the Hubbard Inn lawsuit that Cap Fax profiled earlier in the day. If election judges are receiving cash, which doesn’t seem in line with Chicago Election Day traditions - then perhaps an investigation is in order. I’m surprised that progressive democrats don’t file Bills require 3 meals for election judges who can’t leave their posts during the day. It seems like a simple fix.

  15. - Formerly Unemployed - Tuesday, Mar 19, 24 @ 12:56 pm:

    The last time I worked as an election judge, the precinct captain was running around doing whatever and we never got fed. I brought a sandwich, but not everyone brought food, and remember that judges are working over breakfast, lunch, and dinner time. It was a presidental election so we never got a break. There really need to be standard practices to make sure the election judges are taken care of. The work is tiresome, very low paying, and critical to democracy.

  16. - NIU Grad - Tuesday, Mar 19, 24 @ 12:58 pm:

    “and $50 for lunch”

    Seems pretty much a commen sense thing not to hand election judges cash on Election Day…Did they wink when they said “This is for lunch”?

  17. - Wobblies United - Tuesday, Mar 19, 24 @ 1:00 pm:

    Seems like Ms. Gasca is confusing/misrepresenting a sample ballot being passed around the neighborhood by locals groups with actual ballots being passed out on election day………..great reporting per usual by the Center Square

  18. - low level - Tuesday, Mar 19, 24 @ 1:24 pm:

    Fred Hampton as Director of Public Safety. Someone has a good sense of humor

  19. - low level - Tuesday, Mar 19, 24 @ 1:49 pm:

    Giving cash to your precinct workers is fine. They work for you. Giving it to election judges is improper. They work for the Board of Elections.

  20. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, Mar 19, 24 @ 2:20 pm:

    The Congressman’s campaign told the Sun-Times that Lopez’s team members were spotted giving away doughnuts and “envelopes of cash” to election judges in the alderman’s own ward”

    I would want to know if he gave these to both the Dem and GOP judges (assuming there are real GOP judges in the ward)

  21. - 48th Ward Heel - Tuesday, Mar 19, 24 @ 2:30 pm:

    This is a primary election and Ray Lopez is the guy who’s on Fox News every other week, but thanks for playing, Donnie

  22. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, Mar 19, 24 @ 2:44 pm:

    ==This is a primary election==

    What’s your point? there still is a requirement that both D and R judges work primaries. Secondly, it is a long-standing tradition in super heavy D precincts - local pols would get their friends who may or may not be GOP voters to work as GOP judges just to meet the requirement.

  23. - ClJ - Tuesday, Mar 19, 24 @ 2:46 pm:

    Long ago are the days of running around with boxes of donuts and coffee on election morning. However, the thought of organizing lunch for the election judges makes me, right now, feeling very anxious. If you’ve ever had to get judges to agree on what to order for lunch, then you’d understand the ease of just giving them cash. But just because it’s easy doesn’t mean you do it.

    If you don’t want to or can’t put up with the hassle of lunch, then stick with donuts and coffee and call it a day.

  24. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 19, 24 @ 2:46 pm:

    ===What’s your point?===


    Do you have a point, Donnie? I mean, what is it you’re implying there? Or are you just doing your usual?

  25. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, Mar 19, 24 @ 2:49 pm:

    “Do you have a point”

    hopefully he gave the goodies to all the judges - that’s my point

  26. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 19, 24 @ 2:53 pm:

    ===hopefully he gave the goodies to all the judges===

    Good comment. Now try to do that from here on out instead of posting your often weird non sequiturs. Thanks!

  27. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 19, 24 @ 3:17 pm:

    ===Is Rep Ortiz confusing poll watchers with election judges?===

    Um, did you not read Ald. Lopez’s statement? He admitted giving election judges cash.

    Please don’t post without reading.

  28. - cover - Tuesday, Mar 19, 24 @ 3:37 pm:

    = Seeking pension relief, restoration of state funding and fewer unfunded mandates, Rockford on Monday agreed to renew its contract with lobbyist Michael Cassidy of Zephyr Government Strategies. =

    If Rockford expects a lobbyist to help it obtain “pension relief”, then the city is just wasting taxpayer funds.

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