Mar 8, 2023 - Politics

Chicago vote count drawing to a close

Illustration of a check mark being drawn in front of the Chicago City Hall facade in the colors of the city flag

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Election results are nearly final more than a week after voting ended.

Driving the news: The Chicago Board of Elections has counted most of the vote-by-mail ballots it has received that were postmarked by Election Day.

  • Yes, but: They will not formalize the results until March 15. And they will still count any eligible ballots that come in.

Why it matters: This latest batch gives us a fairly clear picture of which alderpeople will win outright and which will face a runoff on April 4.

45th Ward: The Northwest Side ward has been waiting patiently to see whether embattled Ald. Jim Gardiner wins over 50% of the vote.

  • Gardiner has teetered within a percentage point of victory for days. But mail-in ballots have now dropped him to 48%.
  • Barring a rush of late eligible ballots, he will face lawyer Megan Mathias in a runoff.

1st Ward: On election night, incumbent Ald. Daniel La Spata looked like he would face a runoff against Sam Royko.

  • But mail-in ballots have pushed the Democratic Socialist up over 50%.
  • The board says 82 ballots remain uncounted in his ward and La Spata would need a third of those to win the election outright.

What he's saying: "This race proves the importance of every vote," Ald. La Spata tells Axios.

The other side: Royko is not conceding yet. He tells Axios "every vote matters."

29th Ward: Incumbent Ald. Chris Taliaferro has watched his 51% lead shrink since election night.

  • Now, he stands at 50.38%, with only 20 votes left to count in his ward. Even if he loses all of those votes, he'd still avoid a runoff.

Of note: The board says there are still 43,269 unreturned mail-in ballots and they will accept any postmarked by February 28th.

What's next: The board will certify the election results next Wednesday.


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