Your Chicago election voting guide

February 21, 2011

 
 
Tuesday’s almost here. You ready?
 
We’ll let the candidates for mayor pitch themselves to you. To do this fairly, we have to go back to the February 10th debate hosted by Fox Chicago and the Chicago Urban League. This was the only televised debate that included all six candidates. (We’ve listed them below in the order they appear on the ballot.) Also check out who's funding their campaigns, and how they answered a few issue questionnaires.

emanuel closing.mp3

del valle closing.mp3

braun closing.mp3

chico closing.mp3

watkins closing.mp3

walls closing.mp3

The Tribune and Sun-Times both endorsed Emanuel. But if you have a community paper you prefer and trust, check it out.
 
Other citywide races

Chicago voters will also elect a city clerk and a treasurer. There is only one candidate left on the ballot for treasurer, incumbent Stephanie Neely. The two clerk contenders are state Rep. Susana A. Mendoza and water reclamation commissioner Patricia Horton. They’re fighting for an open office, as incumbent Miguel del Valle is running for mayor.

Know your ward
 
Your alderman is perhaps the public official with the most impact on your everyday quality of life. If you’re familiar with your ward, skip this. But otherwise, check your ward number (along with voting status and polling place) by clicking here.
 
If you live in the 14th, 31st, 33rd, 40th, 42nd, or 44th wards, you have no real contest at the aldermanic level: your alderman is going to get elected because he (these are all men) has no opponents. If you live in the 13th ward, you also have a city council snoozer this year. Incumbent Ald. Frank Olivo pulled out of the race after the filing deadline, leaving political ally Marty Quinn the only remaining candidate. Quinn will be your new alderman.
 
Everyone else has some research to do:
Don’t like your choices?
 
You can always write in a candidate. Keep in mind that votes cast for write-ins are only counted if the candidate registered with the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners before the legal deadline. Nine candidates did so in the race for mayor, including three who originally tried to get on the ballot but were removed during the objection process. There is also a write-in candidate for city clerk, two for treasurer (including Elida Cruz, who was also booted from the ballot) and 41 going for alderman. You can see the full list here.