election 2016

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

A year-end overview of 2016, in which Illinois finds itself in much the same situation as it was 12 months ago, but with an even deeper budget hole and increasingly dire straits for social services and higher education.

FutUndBeldl / Flickr

While Hillary Clinton won the presidential race in the State of Illinois, a lot of voters chose "none of the above."  

A hospital room
Bill McChesney

President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to repeal the federal law known as Obamacare. A group representing Illinois hospitals is warning that doing so without a replacement plan could have dire consequences.

Electoral College
screencapture from pool video

Illinois has officially cast its 20 electoral votes for Hillary Clinton.

The slate of Democratic Party electors met Monday in the state Capitol building in Springfield.

Newsletter article
Sangamon State University Newsletter / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

A few items in this Mission Control:

  • The first drive.  
  • Amanda Vinicky Moving to Chicago.  
  • Election 2016.  Explained.  
  • Past Due.  

Amanda Vinicky / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois won't financially support a wall on the Mexican border if some Democratic lawmakers can help it.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Democratic leaders met for the the first time in months. Judging from their diverging responses, you might wonder if they were actually in the same room. Meanwhile AFSCME members rallied after getting bad news from the state labor board.

Mendoza campaign

Democrats prevailed in statewide races, but couldn't hold on to seats in southern Illinois. Meanwhile, suburban Republicans may hold less sway in the party's legislative caucus.

Amanda Vinicky

Illinois lawmakers will meet in Springfield this week for the first time since the election, but things are already off to a rough start.

Gov. Bruce Rauner and his allies made a big public push last week about his wanting to meet with the General Assembly's for top leaders ... including Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Mind you, Rauner and his allies spent months making a much bigger public push -- in hundreds of campaign ads -- to paint Madigan as a greedy, corrupt insider.

Sunday evening, Madigan's spokesman issued a short statement.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Republicans made gains in the Illinois House and Senate, but Democrats cleaned up in statewide races. Meanwhile, Illinois government is still without a balanced budget — does the election change anything?

Rachel Otwell

As of about 9:30 Tuesday night, many who had gathered at the Corner Pub & Grill in Springfield seemed to believe Hillary Clinton could still pull ahead by gaining more electoral votes than Donald Trump was racking up. For those hoping for that outcome, it was wishful thinking.

Amanda Vinicky

Illinois legislators will only get a brief post-election respite from politics; a week from Wednesday they’ll be back in Springfield to begin the veto session.The current makeup of the General Assembly will remain in place for that, but come the new year -- when the Capitol welcomes a new set of lawmakers elected Tuesday night -- the balance of power will shift, slightly.

Election Day is like the Super Bowl of politics.

Susana Mendoza
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Democrats have won the state office of comptroller away from Republicans.

Susana Mendoza, a Democrat from Chicago, won a special election for a two-year term.

Mendoza defeated incumbent Leslie Munger, who was appointed after Judy Baar Topinka died in office.

The campaign became a proxy battle in the war between Democrats and Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, who personally spent millions on the race.

Kirk and Duckworth arriving at the Illinois State Fair
Amanda Vinicky (Kirk); Brian Mackey (Duckworth) / NPR Illinois

Illinois voters are sending a Democrat to the U.S. Senate. Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth defeated incumbent Republican Sen. Mark Kirk.

Kirk recovered from a debilitating stroke in 2012, but was always going to have a hard time holding onto the seat. He won the seat in the Tea Party wave election of 2010, and Illinois tends to vote more Democratic in presidential election years.

Kirk was magnanimous in defeat, inviting Duckworth to meet at Chicago's Billy Goat Tavern.

  Today, as results come in across the country, NPR reporters will be updating this breaking news blog in real time. The NPR Politics team, along with Member station reporters, will be providing live updates in the form of photo, video, commentary and analysis for both national and local contested races.

flickr/ DonkeyHotey

This year, Illinois Republicans, backed by campaign cash from Gov. Bruce Rauner, are looking to knock some Democratic incumbents out of their seats in the General Assembly. At the same time, Democrats in the state are trying to pick off Republican lawmakers. Lee Enterprises’ Statehouse Bureau Chief Dan Petrella recently wrote a story on the power of incumbency and campaign spending in state legislative races. Illinois Issues editor Jamey Dunn recently sat down with Petrella to talk about it. 

Amanda Vinicky

Election day is finally here, and the polls are open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. Remember, even if you're not registered to vote, you can still do that Tuesday. Here's a rundown of what's on the ballot.

Illinois primary voters' top picks for president on both sides of the aisle -- Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump -- made it to the top of the ballot.

Whoever wins the state will score a sizable 20 Electoral College votes on the quest to 270.

I Voted sticker roll
Wikimedia

Illinois makes it easier than other states to register to vote, but do residents take advantage of the state's laws?

Illinois residents who don't have much of an excuse for not casting a ballot.

Wallet Hub's Jill Gonzalez looked at whether states offer early voting, no-excuse absentee voting, online voter registration and election-day registration.

"Illinois is 4 for 4 for each of those voter accessibility policies," Gonzalez said. That puts Illinois at the top of states when it comes to voter accessibility.

voting booths
flickr/ Mortimer62

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is encouraging his supporters to keep an eye out for possible voting fraud on Election Day. 

In most states, including Illinois, poll watchers are required to get credentials from the State Board of Elections or local election authorities. “Somebody just can’t show up at the polling place (and say,) ‘I want to be a poll watcher. I want to watch.’ You can’t do that. You have to have credentials,” says Jim Tenuto, assistant executive director of the Illinois State Board of Elections.    

Amanda Vinicky
Network Knowledge

Host Amanda Vinicky and guests Kent Redfield (UIS) and Charlie Wheeler (UIS) discuss what you need to know before you vote.

CapitolView is a production of WSEC-TV/PBS Springfield, Network Knowledge.

Amanda Vinicky

There wasn't supposed to be an election for a statewide constitutional officer this year, but Democrats essentially foisted one, following the sudden death of Republican Judy Baar Topinka. That's led to an expensive, competitive race for comptroller this year --- a race that could show who's winning the war of public opinion in Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan's battle for Illinois' future.

Who knows what would have happened had Democrats held onto the governor's office in 2014?

This American Vote in Song

Nov 4, 2016
Paul Ryan
This American Life

After producer Zoe Chace pointed out that the Republican leadership this year seemed like figures in a tragic opera, watching their party turned upside down, we set about looking for songwriters. We explained that we didn’t want to make fun of these politicians. We didn’t want to mock. Just the opposite. We wanted the composers to do what great songwriters always do: take us inside someone’s head and help us feel what they feel. Here are all three songs.

"A Better Way"

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

An election season of unprecedented spending on negative advertising is coming to an end. How does it rank? And what does it mean for the future?

Screenshot

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk says he apologized, and that apology was accepted, so it's time to move on from a controversial comment he made at last week's debate minimizing his opponent's family legacy of military service. The Republican gave an interview to public radio on Wednesday; click below to listen to the bulk of it.

Illinois Issues: Civics Class In An Uncivil Time

Nov 3, 2016

A new state law requires that high school civics courses cover current and controversial events. The requirement kicked in during an election cycle when adults are struggling to have civil conversations about politics. 

Jenna Dooley/Ill Public Radio

Illinois legislators are being graded on whether they've helped or hurt people with disabilities. The scorecard is believed to be the first of its kind, and comes from an organization led by concerned parents.

It would seem that you'd be hard-pressed to find much that Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan have in common.

But on this issue, they both did pretty poorly, with a score of 50-percent.

Screencap of debate stream

Illinois Republican U.S. Senator Mark Kirk has apologized for mocking his challenger Thursday night during a Springfield debate, and Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth accepted.

A relatively small crowd was there to hear it live, but thanks to social media, Kirk's gaffe was quickly heard (and criticized) round the nation.

In talking about the cost of war, Duckworth brought up that her family's military service goes back to the American Revolution.

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Sen. Mark Kirk and U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth participated in their first televised presidential debate this week. Kirk made a comment about his opponent's ethnic heritage for which he later felt compelled to apologize. We'll ask Charlie Wheeler why voters should care about the special election for Illinois comptroller. And Sen. Dick Durbin might mean it when he says he isn't interested in taking on Gov. Bruce Rauner in 2018.

Kirk and Duckworth arriving at the Illinois State Fair
Amanda Vinicky (Kirk); Brian Mackey (Duckworth) / NPR Illinois

Illinois voters aren't getting many chances to see their candidates for U.S. Senate face off. Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth and the incumbent -- Republican Mark Kirk -- met Thursday in Springfield. It was the first of only two televised debates, and their only downstate match-up.

flickr/ DonkeyHotey

The presidential race is capturing most voters' attention. But here in Illinois, there's record-breaking spending going into races for the General Assembly. Hanging in the balance is the state of Illinois, or at least its budget, anyway.

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