Award-winning, student-run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield

The Observer

Award-winning, student-run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield

The Observer

Award-winning, student-run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield

The Observer


Midterm Election in Illinois

A hand holding a mail-in ballot and a small American flag. | Photo Credit: Janine Robinson on Unsplash

In the Congressional elections, better known as the “midterm elections,” voters get to choose one-third of the senators and every member of the House of Representatives. It is known as the “midterms” since it takes place halfway between presidential elections. The midterm elections in Illinois will take place on Nov. 8, 2022. The process may vary in different states, with different deadlines for voter registration, absentee ballot request, and return and early voting information. The information shared on the midterm election here will refer to the Illinois State General Election and provides information for Illinois residents.

Depending on the county, where to go to vote may be different, so for best results, be sure to utilize the polling place lookup tool for the designated polling place for each person. There is a list of the nearest polling places in Springfield, IL, which opens at 6:00 a.m. and closes at 7:00 p.m. Please keep in mind that any voters who are already in line at 7:00 p.m. will be allowed to vote. Each registered voter in Sangamon County has a designated polling place based on their residential address and can use that information to have the easiest voting experience.

Before arriving at your nearest polling place, double-check a few things to be best prepared to vote. Firstly, voters should check that they are registered to vote and find their designated polling place. Then, new voters should have a copy of current and valid photo identification and a copy of a bill, bank statement, paycheck, etc., that shows the individual’s current residence address and full name. Established Illinois voters do not need to provide ID and only need to verify their signature.

Another thing to do before arriving at the polling place, or dropping your mail-in ballot off, is to know who the candidates will be. This election will decide the Illinois Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, US Senator, Illinois 15th Congressional District, Illinois 13th Congressional District, and Illinois 2nd Congressional District. The following information will provide roles, candidates, and a few known issues of focus.

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The role of the Illinois governor is to “have the supreme executive power and shall be responsible for the faithful execution of the laws.” They make sure that Illinois laws are properly executed.

The Democratic candidate for Illinois Governor is JB Pritzker, who is running for his second term. Issues he focuses on include legal access to abortion, expanding affordable health care for Illinoisans, and improving access to quality education across Illinois.

The Republican candidate for Illinois Governor is Darren Bailey, the current state senator for Illinois’ 55th District. He focuses on issues opening up public institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, opposing state and taxpayer funding of abortion, and lowering property and income taxes.

Lieutenant Governor

The role of the Lieutenant Governor (LT. Governor) is to “perform the duties and exercise the powers in the Executive Branch that may be delegated to him by the Governor, and that may be prescribed by law.” They oversee a range of matters from the Illinois Global Partnership to military communications in Illinois.

The Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor is Juliana Stratton, running for her second term as the Illinois Lt. Governor. She has sponsored the Gun Dealer Licensing-Various act, the Crim Pro-Asset Freeze Order, and the Crim CD-Criminal Building MGMT bill.

The Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor is Stephanie Trussel. She focuses on issues such as lowering taxes, growing the economy to attract business, and preventing funding for abortion healthcare.

Secretary of State

The role of the Secretary of State office is divided among 21 departments and serves to cover a range of diverse and important responsibilities that affect all Illinois State residents. Common responsibilities include Driver Services & vehicle services, with lesser known responsibilities being organ/tissue Donation & State Budget and Fiscal Management.

The Democratic candidate for Secretary of State is Alexi Giannoulias, former Democratic nominee for US Senate. He focuses on creating more jobs, improving the financial future of Illinois residents, and curbing ethical abuse.

The Republican candidate for Secretary of State is Dan Brady, who has served in the Illinois House since 2001. He focuses on an increase in organ and tissue donor registration, transitioning secretary of state services into a digital era for ease of access, and providing better driver education to increase driver safety.

US Senator

The role of US senators is to negotiate compromises before a bill goes to the Senate voting floor, discuss policy issues, and be the face that brings certain issues into focus. They represent their entire state and serve six-year terms.

The Democratic candidate for US senator is Tammy Duckworth, the current US Senator who was elected in 2016. Her focus issues include civil rights and criminal justice reform, widely available high-quality education, and welcoming immigrants to build a better life for themselves in the US.

The Republican candidate for US senator is Kathy Salvi, a former Illinois 8th Congressional District candidate. Issues of focus include criminal justice support, giving parents a voice in education, and securing the border

Congressional Districts:

There are 435 congressional districts, and each district can elect a representative in the US House of Representatives. These congressmen/congresswomen serve a two-year term and have the responsibility/power to consider and pass new laws/changes to existing laws, elect a president during an electoral tie, and impeach federal officials.

Illinois 15th Congressional District

The Democratic candidate for IL 15th Congressional District is Paul Lange, the former precinct committeeman from Quincy, IL. He focuses on turning healthcare into a single-payer healthcare system, strengthening social security, and supporting bills that aim to build a better economy.

The Republican candidate for IL 15th Congressional District is Mary Miller, the incumbent congresswoman for the IL 15th District since 2021. Issues of focus for her include education, health, and economic issues.

Illinois 13th Congressional District

The Democratic candidate for IL 13th Congressional District is Nikki Budzinksi, the senior adviser for Governor J.B. Pritzker in 2018. She focuses on increasing the minimum wage, protecting women’s rights to abortion healthcare, and balancing safety and justice in the criminal justice system.

The Republican candidate for IL 13th Congressional District is Regan Deering. Her focus issues include barring the use of tax money towards abortion healthcare, improving public education, and supporting open/concealed carry laws paired with improved gun safety and education.

Illinois 2nd Congressional District

The Democratic candidate for IL 2nd Congressional District is Robin Kelly, who has represented this district since 2013. Her focus issues include progress for women, reducing the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and improving national security.

The Republican candidate for IL 2nd Congressional District is Thomas Lynch. He focuses on criminal justice reform and addressing the crime issue above any war on drugs, election integrity, and foreign policy.

Another option is to Absentee Vote or vote by mail. This allows voting to occur via mail or a drop box before the election date. Even better, Cook County residents can opt for Permanent Vote By Mail, meaning a mail-in ballot will be sent to the chosen address for all subsequent elections within Cook County. When voting in person, bring the mail-in ballot to the polling location of choice once the election day arrives. It may then be exchanged for a ballot to fill out on the day of the election, or the absentee ballot may be filled out at the polling location. The deadline to request online or by post is Nov. 3, and the in-person request deadline is Nov. 7. The deadline to return a mail-in ballot is Nov. 8; if by post, the ballot must be received by Nov. 22.

There is still time to look into more information, such as voting rules, candidates, deadlines, and more. The more informed you can be, the better your chance of making a difference.

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