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Live updates: Illinois voters head to polls to elect governor, key House seats

Live updates: Illinois voters head to polls to elect governor, key House seats Chicago Tribune staff Contact Reporter ...

Live updates: Illinois voters head to polls to elect governor, key House seats

Chicago Tribune staffContact Reporter

As Election Day dawned Tuesday, voters in Illinois headed out to choose a governor and make choices for other statewide offices, while nationally every seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and a third of U.S. Senate seats are on the ballot. The Tribune is live-blogging Election Day in Illinois, below, continuing until well after polls close.

Read more about the vote in Illinois on the Tribune election page, including five things to know about Election Day in the state.

View our updating photo gallery of Chicago-area voters explaining why they’re casting their ballots today. The Tribune’s live coverage of elections outside of Illinois is here.

ILLINOIS VOTING GUIDE: 5 things to know about election day | Referendum questions to expect | Know your voter rights | Free and di scounted rides to the polls | Candidate surveys: Find out which candidates you align best with | Tribune Editorial Board endorsements » Printable Trib endorsements | More coverage

3:00 p.m.: Some precincts failed to hand out second ballots

Despite consistent reminders that election judges were to distribute both a ballot that lists candidates up for election and a second ballot that lists judges up for retention and non-binding referenda, the city saw widespread reports that poll workers failed to hand out the second paper ballot.

That leaves voters with few options if they were intent on casting their vote on those issues.

“In theory, they could go back to their polling place and demand to vote a provisional, retention-only (ballot),” election board spokesman Jim Allen told reporters.

“If someone really wanted to, they could go back and demand that they vote a provisional, ‘B’ ballot. We’d have to determine at some point, 14 days from now, whether or not we could actually count that ballot.”

Officials said they did not know the extent of the problem, though election commission records showed staff members received a number of voter complaints about the issue through Tuesday afternoon.

“I think we’ve answered enough tweets and Facebook inquiries and emails where we feel confident that it was a dozen or more precincts at a minimum,” Allen said.

The essential problem, Allen said, was poll judges who did not follow training. â€"Juan Perez Jr.

2:58 p.m.: Near U. of C. Law School, a woman turns out to ‘vote the corrupt judges out’

At the polling place closest to the University of Chicago Law School, the gymnasium at Cornerstone Baptist Church on 63rd Street and Woodlawn Avenue, some voters said Tuesday afternoon that they were most looking forward to changes in the legal system.

"I'm here to vote the corrupt judges out of their positions," said Darcy Fangi, who arrived at the church around 2:30 p.m.

Inside, dozens of voters bustled about. Volunteers, clipboards at their hips, check and double-checked addresses and other information. The gym was the site of multiple precincts.

Fangi was one of a few there with a child in tow. She said voting was especially important to her Tuesday because the direction the country has been going worries her.

"I'm irritated in general about the state of America," she said. â€"Ese Olumhense

2:45 p.m.: Oh, so that’s why

More on why Chicago doesn’t have “I voted” stickers, but does give out wristbands.

1:56 p.m.: Trump backs Hultgren on Twitter

President Donald Trump sent an Election Day tweet in support of Republican U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren in his suburban congressional campaign against Democratic challenger Lauren Underwood. “Congressman Randy Hultgren (R) of Illinois is doing a great job. Get out and Vote for Randy - Total Endorsement!” Trump tweeted at about 2 p.m.

Hultgren appeared with Trump at a southern Illinois rally two weekends ago 300 miles south of his far west and north suburban 14th Congressional District.

1:42 p.m.: Vote after 5 at this polling place

1:26 p.m.: ‘I see the grain silos being built because we have a president named Trump’

In the shadow of the Willowbrook water tower, voters encountered wait times just under a half hour during the lunch rush, which some said rivaled the 2016 presidential election.

Craig Parks, 64, was among the group of enthusiastic voters who didn’t mind the wait. Parks planned to cast his vote to maintain GOP majorities in both chambers of Congress to support President Donald Trump’s economic agenda.

“I’m out in the corn field. I see what’s going on. I see the grain silos being built because we have a president named Trump," he said. “The economy is moving. All of this in two years! It’s not because the people who want to be in play are doing it. It’s because of the president we have right now.” â€"Tony Briscoe

1:24 p.m.: First-time voter, 26, on the Far North Side: ‘To be honest, I do feel nervous’

Alfred Emerson sa t in the corner of a bustling coffee shop on the Far North Side early Tuesday afternoon as he closely scanned his two-page paper ballot.

It was the first time Emerson, 26, of Edgewater Beach, cast a ballot in any election.“To be honest, I do feel nervous but I do feel good, actually,” Emerson said. “I actually came out and did something for a change, you know.”

He voted inside Metropolis Coffee Company, 1039 W. Granville Ave., a polling location for the city’s 48th Ward. Emerson, who was headed to his job in River North after voting, said one of the issues he’s concerned about is funding for public schools, particularly for those on the city’s South Side so that students there have more opportunities to advance to college.

But he was also motivated because his friends tease him about never having cast a vote.“I guess I wanted my voice to be heard,” Emerson said. “My friends say oh, you can’t really have any opinion if you don’t vote.”

And while he said he wished he was more educated on all of the candidates that appeared on his ballot, Emerson said the experience will help him in future elections.

“It gives me an idea for the next time when I come in to vote,” Emerson said. â€"Elvia Malagon

1:10 p.m: Negative ads prove a turn-off

"I'm not h appy," Eurydice Moore said as she tugged on her hat and prepared to exit the Chicago Police Station on W. Addison Street in Lakeview. The 62-year-old consultant said it took her about 50 minutes to cast her ballot because she was confused and election judges were too busy to help.

The line to vote at two precincts in Chicago's 44th Ward shrank later in the morning Tuesday. Not long after Moore left, Richard Elliott said it only took him 30 minutes to cast his ballot for J. B. Pritzker for governor â€" a choice he said was spurred by his aversion to Bruce Rauner's ads.

"Some of his negative ads really turned me the opposite way,” the 42-year-old bar manager said. "That was kind of the deciding factor." â€"Katie Galioto

1:07 p.m.: Voting in Ricobene’s in Bridgeport

Just after noon at Ricobene's pizza parlor, 252 W. 26th St., as dozens of patrons came to dine during the lunch rush, others in the community had civ ic participation, not pizza, on their minds.

The restaurant doubled as a polling place Tuesday, the enticing scents of the kitchen wafting through to the poll stations, which stood in a room adjacent to the dining area.

Matt Dalzell, 27, was one of around 70 Chicagoans who had voted at the restaurant by early afternoon."It's Election Day, right?" the software engineer said. He makes sure to vote in each election, something he knows is not the norm for many other Americans.

"As long as I'm able to, I generally will go vote," he said.

Dalzell, who works from home, came out on Tuesday to support candidates who will "make Illinois a good place to live in the future." He's especially interested in a strong economy and in jobs.

With his civic duty done, Dalzell turned his focus to another need â€" lunch.

"I always thought it was kind of unique that we had Ricobene's," as the precinct’s pollin g place, he said. He recommends the pizza, too. â€"Ese Olumhense

12:50 p.m.: Marijuana on the brain in Lakeview

David Johnson's company let employees work from home for the day so they could vote, but he still came to his Lakeview polling place at the Chicago Police Station on W. Addison Street wearing a gray suit.

One of the top issues on Johnson's mind was the legalization of marijuana, which affected both his vote for governor and on a referendum question. The 40-year-old said he thinks regulating the sale and use of cannabis could benefit Chicago financially.

"I think that is one of the options to help dig us out," he said.

A few minutes later, Daniel Leahy walked out of the polls and voiced similar thoughts.

"I don’t think people should be allowed to be incarcerated for small offenses," the 23-year-old actor said. "I think that money can be put to better use." â€"Katie Galioto

12:20 p.m.: Tell us why you’re voting

Healthcare? Immigration? Trump? Take our poll and tell us why you’re getting out and casting a ballot this fall. Click here.

11:53 a.m.: Regretting a vote for Trump

Xiu Qiong Wu voted for President Donald Trump in 2016 -- a decision she said she now regrets. On Tuesday, she voted for Democrats at the polling place in the Chinatown Elderly Apartments in the 25th Ward.

Wu, 72, said she voted for Trump because she liked the idea of America being the best country in the world, but as an immigrant she has been increasingly concerned while reading the newspaper every day.

“Ever since the president came into office, there were a lot of policies that were not good for the middle class and for the general community,” Wu said in Cantonese, which was tra nslated to English through Ada Tong and State Rep. Theresa Mah, D-Chicago.

Tong, who volunteers for Mah’s campaign, helped get Wu, who is wheelchair bound, from her apartment in Chinatown to the polling location after word spread that Wu wanted to vote but had trouble getting out of her home. â€"Elvia Malagon

11:23 a.m.: Translating ballots in Chinatown

Yuping Chen hopped from voter to voter Tuesday morning, translating the lengthy ballot for residents inside the 25th Ward’s polling place in the Chinatown Elderly Apartments. It was the first time Chen, 32, worked as a translator on Election Day.

“Most of the people want to vote but they don’t know who can help them,” Chen said. “They want someone to help them and that’s why I’m here.”

More than 100 people had cast a ballot Tuesday morning at the polling place located in the 300 block of West 23rd Street.

Among the voters Chen helped was 83-year-old Qu Xiang Chen, who s aid she voted because she’s a citizen. â€"Elvia Malagon

11:21 a.m.: A Gold Coast 73-year-old who has ‘never missed a vote’

Rebecca Janowitz tugged her blue scarf tighter around her neck as she exited her polling place at Moody Church and walked down the steps onto N. Clark Street. The 65-year-old Gold Coast resident knows firsthand the ramifications of elections â€" she's running for alderman in the 43rd Ward this winter.

"It would look bad if I didn't vote," she said. "You can't really expect other people to do stuff you don't do."

Julie Paradise knew what to expect when she showed up to cast her ballot.

"I'm 73, and I've never missed a vote," the Gold Coast resident said.

Paradise described herself as "a hardcore Democrat," who voted for candidates who shares her beliefs on social justice issues like healthcare and educations. She was surprised to see some of the city referendums and that there wasn't more of a line at the poll.

By 10 a.m., about 100 people had voted at each of the three Ward 2 precincts polling there. â€"Katie Galioto

11:20 a.m.: Extended hours for some polling places?

Chicago election officials expect to ask a judge to extend voting hours at a handful of polling places, citing “rather significant issues” and delays that kept voters from casting ballots.

Chicago Board of Election Commissioners spokesman Jim Allen declined to identify the specific polling sites that could have their hours extended, saying that some of the problems were still under investigation late Tuesday morning. But Allen did say the city would ask a court to extend hours for at least two and as many as five sites.

The problems were “egregious in the delay and the length of the delay,” Allen said. Poll workers at some of the affected sites also failed to collect contact information from voters who were turned away. â€"Juan Perez

10:52 a.m.: ‘I’m afraid of the Democratic Party’

Despite dreary weather, voters poured into a V.F.W. hall along the Fox River in Montgomery Tuesday morning. Among them were Jerry and Becky Davis, 69 and 62, of Aurora.

Becky Davis: “I’m afraid of the Democratic Party right now and what they’re trying to do. We’ve lost the ability to discuss without getting emotional. I’m hoping it’ll get turned around.”

Jerry Davis: “If you don’t get along with them, you get condemned. I think that’s how Trump got elected because the average person gets so tired of the B.S. that goes on in Washington, because the established politicians are doing the same things they have always done. But they don’t realize we’re not going to put up with it any more.

“When I grew up you didn’t care who the president was, he was the president and you honored the office. You might not like the guy, you may not care what he has to say, but you get behind the country.” â€"Tony Briscoe

MORE PHOTOS: Why I voted in the 2018 midterm elections »

10:17 a.m.: The scene in Bridgeport

9:51 a.m.: Governor’s race is picking ‘lesser of two evils’

Kyle Johnson, 34, said he voted locally but is keeping watch nationally.

He said he voted for Democrats and will be keeping a close eye on results from Texas, Florida and Missouri to see if Democrats make gains in Congress.

Johnson said he felt like the Illinois governor’s race was the “lesser of two evils,” so he focused on researching the long list of judges who were up for retention.

“I went through the list and made some decisions,” said Johnson, of the Canaryville neighborhood in Chicago. “There are a few that seem like real bad apples. They just sit there forever if you don’t vote them out.” â€"Elvia Malagon

Not sure who to pick for governor?

Here are links the Tribune’s coverage of the race: Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and billionaire Democratic challenger J.B. Pritzker broke all spending records for a governor’s race here. Our reporters have been covering the race closely. Other statewide races include attorney general and comptroller.

9:27 a.m.: Sick of the ads in Canaryville

Voter Kelly Reed, 49, of the Canaryville neighborhood, said she is fed up with the onslaught of advertisements from candidates.

“Everyone’s just ba shing everyone, you know,” Reed said. “Instead of just saying what you are going to do, they are just saying why the other person is bad. It’s driving me nuts.”

Reed said she made time to vote at Chicago's Taylor-Lauridsen Park between dropping off her children at school and going to work because she wanted to make sure to “get the Democratic votes in,” adding that she is not happy with the way Republicans, including Gov. Bruce Rauner, are handling the government.

In 2016, nearly 40 percent of the 538 residents who voted in this precinct cast a vote for President Donald Trump, according to data from the Chicago Board of Elections. â€"Elvia Malagon

9:22 a.m.: Two trips to the polls for South Side 7-year-old

In the Canaryville neighborhood, 65 residents had cast their ballots by 9 a.m. Among the early morning voters was Deonna Hart, 39, who felt the weight of her grandparents as she stepped into the polling place.

“I have to, ” Hart said about voting. “It’s a part of my legacy. If I don’t, I’m not honoring my ancestors.”

She voted at Taylor-Lauridsen Park at 704 W. 42nd Street with her 7-year-old son before dropping him off at school. It would be the first of two trips the boy would be making to the polling site. Hart said her husband would be bringing him along to vote in the afternoon.

Though they hadn’t talked to their son about the election, he instantly recognized gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker’s name on the ballot from all of the television advertisements. â€"Elvia Malagon

8:18 a.m.: ‘I don’t like the way our country is going. I hate the fact that we are starting to hate each other’

Pam Dandrige of Naperville said the primary motivation for her vote on Tuesday was her disgust with the lack of civility and increase in political vitriol in recent years. She arrived 5 minutes before the polls opened at Naperville’s Safety Town and was v oter No. 14 at the precinct.“I don’t like the way our country is going,” she said. “I hate the fact that we are starting to hate each other and that’s an OK thing. It’s not OK! Hate is never OK.

“I want us to get back to where we were … Where this country was going for however many years, and we’ve reversed. Where it was OK to take care of the poor, where it was OK for everyone to get health care. But we have to take care of each other.” â€"Tony Briscoe

MORE PHOTOS: Why I voted in the 2018 midterm elections »

7:54 a.m.: An irregular voter shows up early in Naperville: ‘This is the first midterm I’ve ever voted in’

Before daylight there was a line of voters at a precinct at Naperville’s Safety Town, a miniaturized town with tiny buildings and street signs. Several dozen voters shuffled in and out within the first hour, including Elizabeth Dubiel.

“I’m trying to change the momentum of the way things are right now. This is the first midterm I’ve ever voted in. In my whole, I’ve probably voted like three times.”

Her first time voting was for former President Barack Obama. Since then, Dubiel said, she became uninspired with the lack of diversity on the ballot.

“In the past there wasn’t too many women on the ballot. I felt like my vote wasn’t heard, like my vote didn’t count.”

But Dubiel said her motivation to vote changed following the 2016 presidential election. This, she said, wasn’t a typical midterm election. â€"Tony Briscoe

National spotlight on the Chicago ‘burbs

Two U.S. House seats held by suburban Republicans have been targeted by Democrats as part of their effort to take the majority in the House. Suburban areas, especially DuPage County, were once the bulwark against the Democratic Party’s lock on Chicago voters, but that’s no longer the case.

7:05 a.m., Nov. 6: Pilsen early voter brushes off morning rain to weigh-in on judges

In Pilsen, the polling place inside the Rudy Lozano Branch Library opened just after 6 a.m. with a handful of voters huddled inside the vestibule to dodge the rain.

Johnny Buse, 29, of Pilsen, was among a group of people who huddled in a vestibule in the Rudy Lozano Branch Library, shielding themselves from the morning rain just after 6 a.m.

The polling location inside the library, at the interse ction of Loomis and 18th Streets, is used by two precincts in the 25th Ward. Once the polls opened, a line quickly formed for voters who still had to register or change their address.

Buse was the first voter to cast a ballot at the Pilsen polling place. He made the trek before sunrise because he worried there might be long lines if he waited until after work. Early morning voting also allowed him to make it in time to Gage Park, where he works as an English teacher.

While this year's election includes a heated governor's race, Buse focused on the list of judges who were up for retention. While the long list of judges can seem daunting, Buse said he did his research because he's concerned about incarceration rates. And he thinks the legal system can be confusing and vague.

“I think the governor’s race -- you’re often going to really end up getting similar things regardless of who is there -- but judges, on a daily level, they have a much bigger impact on people’s lived lives,” he said. â€"Elvia Malagon

The Nov. 6 election weather forecast from Tom Skilling

Clouds linger as low pressure makes its way across the Great Lakes region. Election day opens cloudy and rather raw. Patchy light rain or drizzle possible through the morning. Blustery. West winds of 20-30 mph gust to near 40 mph at times. Clouds break during the afternoon. Despite emerging sunshine, temps near 50 early, slowly fall through the day. Dry overnight, but winds remain elevated. Colder, with lows dipping to the low-mid 30s. (Live updates from the Tribune weather page) â€"Tom Skilling

3:47 p.m., Nov. 5: Chicago, Cook officials say voter turnout likely to hit or exceed 50 percent on Election Day

On Monday, city and county election officials voiced cautious optimism that overall Election Day voter turnout will be higher t han normal for a midterm contest, thanks in part to a surge in voter registration and early voting numbers.

Officials in suburbs surrounding Chicago said their unofficial count of roughly 1.6 million registered voters was a new record for a gubernatorial election. Early voting turnout was also sharply higher compared with the 2014 governor’s race, Cook County Clerk David Orr’s office said.

Chicago has so far recorded an additional 1.5 million voter registrations for this midterm election. That’s the hig hest recorded number in the city since the 1982 midterms, according to the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.

City voter turnout for midterm contests has hovered in the high 40 percent to mid-50 percent range since the 1980s, according to the city election board. Those percentages are similar to those recorded by the suburbs in nonpresidential general elections since the 1990s.

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