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What you need to know on Election Day in Illinois

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Here’s (some) of what you need to know about Election Day in Illinois:

*Polls are open statewide from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you’re still in line at 7 p.m., you’ll still be allowed to vote.

*If you spot problems on Election Day (suspected improper or illegal activity), you can call the Illinois attorney general’s office. In the Chicago area and northern Illinois, the number is 866-536-3496, and in central and southern Illinois, it’s 866-559-6812.

*If you’re voting by mail, make sure the ballot is postmarked by today.

*You can still register to vote on Election Day, but election officials warn that you should be prepared to show two forms of identification (driver’s license, utility bill), one of which must show your current address. In larger counties, you’ve got to register and vote at your home precinct only.

*A record number of people already have voted, mostly due to the expanded time period for casting a ballot ahead of time. Cook County Clerk David Orr said 26 percent of the county’s 1.5 million registered suburban voters voted early.

*Other voting tidbits, early and otherwise: This time in suburban Cook, 438,212 voted early, besting the 273,661 record set in 2012. In addition, 113,375 vote-by-mail ballots were requested and 69,270 have been returned so far….Nearly 58 percent of the early voters have been women…In the city, more than 323,501 people voting early, well ahead of the 2008 record of 260,378….There are more than 8 million registered voters in Illinois.

*The first thing you’ll see on the ballot is not the race for president. It’s a very long referendum question on whether you think gas tax money should only be allowed to be spent on transportation-related stuff. You can read a story about the issues surrounding the proposed constitutional amendment here.

*The top Illinois race is the U.S. Senate contest between Republican Sen. Mark Kirk and Democratic challenger Rep. Tammy Duckworth. Here’s our Kirk profile and story about his health. Here’s our Duckworth profile and story about her record.

*There’s a special election for Illinois comptroller. Appointed Republican Leslie Geissler Munger is running against Democratic Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza. The office controls state government’s checkbook. Here’s an overview.

*A lot of those negative TV ads against politicians you might not have heard of are for Illinois House and Senate contests. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and his wealthy allies are paying for some of them; labor unions and trial lawyers who back Democratic Speaker Michael Madigan are paying for some as well. Here’s a look at what’s at stake.

*About those House and Senate races: Republicans did not field enough candidates to attempt a full-scale reversal of the Senate, and it’s unlikely the GOP could wrest control of the House away from Madigan, though it is mathematically possible. 

*Cook County voters will get to decide whether to merge the recorder of deeds office into the county clerk’s office. Find out more here.

*A collection of our election stories is on this page.

*Our Elections Center page (with links to city and suburban county election authority information) is here.

*Watch election results come in on this page at chicagotribune.com.

What we’re writing

*Decision day hath arrived for Illinois voters.

*Emanuel on use of personal emails for government business: I’ll give you my answer in court.

*Emanuel’s plan for plastic bag fee, 685 more parking meters clears first City Council hurdle.

*Emanuel condemns rhetoric of Mount Greenwood Blue Lives Matter protesters after latest fatal cop shooting.

*Almost 1 in 4 Illinois teachers miss 10+ days of school a year.

From the notebook 

*Emanuel’s radio show: Mayor Emanuel will be taking his message directly to the people of Chicago with the help of TV personality Bill Kurtis, who will interview the mayor for a “town hall” radio program that will be broadcast on 40 local stations next week.

The radio show will air at 6 p.m. Monday, according to an announcement from the Illinois Broadcasters Association.

Kurtis, a longtime Chicago television reporter who has also done his fair share of emceeing City Hall events over the years, will speak to the mayor for 30 minutes in the live, commercial-free event. People can submit questions to Chicagoradiostations.com, but there’s no guarantee Kurtis will ask them of Emanuel during the interview.

The interview will cover “pressing issues facing the city,” according to the release, but no word on exactly what Kurtis and Emanuel will discuss. And no word on where the two will meet for the show.

The radio sitdown with Kurtis is a way for Emanuel to directly address Chicagoans in a nonconfrontational setting, and with 40 radio stations broadcasting it at once, people in their cars will more or less be a captive audience for the mayor’s message. (John Byrne)

Follow the money

*Track Illinois campaign contributions in real time here and here.

Beyond Chicago

*Clinton, Trump adopt different tones in final day on trail.

*Clinton’s day on the brink.

*Trump stokes voter anger in final stretch.

*Ryan dismisses talk his speakership is in danger.

 
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