It's time: voters to choose from the largest number of mayoral candidates for 181 years of Chicago history


Voters in Chicago will go to the polls Tuesday to choose from a record 14 candidates for the next mayor of the city, an exercise that will almost certainly reduce the number of candidates to two finalists rather than designate an immediate winner.

If no candidate eclipses more than 50% of the vote, which is very likely given the number of names on the ballot, the first two candidates will compete for the second round on April 2nd to determine who will replace Mayor Rahm Emanuel, holder of eight years. Many private campaigns have admitted to hoping to exceed 20% of the vote to carve out a place in the second round, with some believing that an arrival in high adolescence might be enough to get the job done.

"Chicago has never had such an election," said Monday the president of the Commission of the Electoral Commissioners of Chicago, Marisel Hernandez. "And we might never see one again."

After several visits to a dusty warehouse to check the records, Election Council spokesman Jim Allen confirmed Monday that the number of mayoral candidates for 2019 is the largest of 181 years in Chicago history. The record for the largest number of candidates before this year was in 1897, when Democrat Carter Harrison Jr. easily defeated seven other candidates to follow in his father's footsteps as mayor. The 1977 special primary that followed the death of Mayor Richard J. Daley saw a total of nine candidates, including six on the Democratic ballot and one for the Republican, Socialist and American Socialist parties.

The dozen Chicago bakers and a candidate scattered Monday in the city to reach as many voters as possible before the opening of the 1,400 polling stations in the city. Campaign members furiously filled Twitter feeds and Facebook timelines with candidates with messages from pressing candidates.

Among the vacant positions, former CPS Board President Gery Chico, past a Dunkin & Donuts, former US Secretary of Commerce Bill Daley, picking up pastries for volunteers, Southwest Side Attorney "seeking votes and a pastrami" at Manny's Cafeteria & Delicatessen, former Attorney Lori Lightfoot taking selfies with voters at a stop Loop Red Line, the former Superintendent of Police Chicago, Garry McCarthy, posting a video showing that he was pulling his campaign signs from a rubbish bin in a 41st constituency advance polling center as part of a late-breaking call The State Comptroller Susana Mendoza has agreed to receive volunteers from Local 551 of the United Auto Workers Union, Cook County Chairperson Toni Preckwinkle of the Telephone Bank and the former CEO of the schools. Chicago's Paul Vallas met with union musicians.

Activist and policy consultant, Amara Enyia, former Ald. Bob Fioretti, the Republic's representative, Shawn Ford, Bridgeport's lawyer John Kozlar, technology entrepreneur Neal Sales-Griffin and businessman Willie Wilson will also be listed on Tuesday. Eight of the candidates had already declared their candidacy for mayor before Emanuel announced the surprise announcement in September to give up his bid for a third term, while Preckwinkle, Daley, Chico, Ford, Mendoza and Fioretti subsequently installed them.

The few reliable polls that appeared in the race show that several candidates are grouped and none reaches 20% of the vote, leaving many candidates returning Tuesday convinced that they have a legitimate plan to qualify for the second round. The possibility of a second round did not exist until state legislators passed a law in 1995 bringing Chicago to nonpartisan elections.

It took 20 years for Chicago to have its first round in 2015, when Emanuel was beaten less than 50% in the February elections and forced into the second round by the little-known Cook County Commissioner, Jesus "Chuy" Garcia . Emanuel defeated Garcia in April, garnering 56% of the vote. The only question that arose four years ago was not who could force Emanuel to argue – it was obvious that Garcia was the only hope for it – but if that would happen.

This time, not only is the runoff close to some, but the choice of both candidates is largely to be taken.

The February 2015 elections recorded an almost record participation rate, with only 34 percent of the 1.4 million registered voters registered in the city, a rate slightly higher than the record high of 33 percent recorded in 2007. when former mayor Richard M. Daley had last term. Largely thanks to the enthusiasm aroused by the November mid-term elections, there are 11% more registered voters in Chicago for the 2019 election compared to there are four years, according to the archives of the electoral committee.

Early voting started slowly this year, perhaps because voters had to consider many candidates before making a final decision. But the number of advance ballots has increased in recent days, with 25,705 voters voting Monday, more than double the number of daily.

In total, 125,600 Chicagoians voted early this year, compared to 89,869 four years earlier. Even with the high number of registered voters, the advance votes exceeded the 2015 elections, with 8% of registered voters voting early, compared with 6% four years ago.

Nevertheless, based on the anticipated vote totals, a record voter turnout should remain possible, as the increase in the number of anticipated votes may indicate that Chicago residents will continue to become more accustomed to this practice than they reflect. increase their enthusiasm.

Another factor that influences participation, of course, is the weather. Tom Skilling, an experienced meteorologist for WGN, predicts that teenage temperatures will peak in mid-twenties, which he says is 10 to 15 degrees below normal. Winds blowing from the east will make the air feel 5 to 15 degrees lower than the temperature. There will also be a risk of snow throughout the day, with the possibility of lake effect accumulations ranging from dusting to an inch and a half north of the loop in the lake. 39, afternoon.

"We have had milder electoral periods, but the situation could be much worse," Skilling said. "Yet the snow will fly sporadically."

If the race for second place in the second round becomes tight, the number of outstanding ballot papers could become an important factor, election officials said. Of the approximately 60,000 postal votes requested, 42% were referred back to Sunday. At the same time in 2015, 51.5% of the anticipated votes had been returned.

Thus, if the margin is very tight, some campaigns could wait until defeat until the postal ballots have been counted. The electoral committee will count the postal ballots, which must be mailed no later than March 13, on election day, until the end of the following month. However, most of them are expected a few days after the election.

"It could be very tight, and we will continue to count the ballots by mail as soon as they arrive and certify the results," said Hernandez while urging voters not to stay out of the polls. "I do not want an extremely fine margin of maneuver between second and third place candidates, then people ask," Why is this person the second place nominee and should she be the third "Well, did everyone go out and vote? ? "

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