Chicago Voters Weigh In On Straws, Pot, And Maybe Mayoral Term Limits
If you made it past the top of the ballot contests during yesterday’s election and what seemed like a neverending list of judges, you probably saw a list of mostly advisory questions.
Depending on where you live in Chicago, these questions ranged from issues like rent control to various public school proposals. Many of them are non-binding, meaning they will not go into effect unless legislative action is taken by elected officials.
Here’s a look at some of the questions that appeared on the ballot and the preliminary results, according to the Chicago Board of Elections.
Suck it, straws
Question: Should the City of Chicago ban the use of plastic straws within the corporate city limits?
Results: About 55 percent of voters said yes and about 45 percent said no.
Think of the children!
Question: In the event marijuana is legalized, should the City of Chicago appropriate revenue from the sale of marijuana to increase funding for Chicago Public Schools and for mental health services?
Results: This one was a landslide. About 88 percent of voters said yes, while about 12 percent of buzzkills said no.
Penalties for illegal gun dealers
Question: Should the State of Illinois strengthen penalties for the illegal trafficking of firearms and require all gun dealers to be certified by the State?
Results: This one was also a landslide. About 92 percent of voters said yes, and about 8 percent said no.
Side note: This question not only comes as the nation debates gun control in an age of what seems like monthly mass shootings, but also comes after a Wisconsin man was sentenced for illegally selling the gun used to kill Chicago Police Cmdr. Paul Bauer this year.
The rent is in the mail
Question: Should the State of Illinois be able to regulate rents to address rising rents, unjust evictions and gentrification in our communities?
Results: This question only appeared in ballots from three Chicago wards: the 35th, which is located on the West Side and includes parts of Logan Square and Albany Park; the 46th, which includes Uptown; and the 49th, which includes Rogers Park.
In the 35th Ward, more than 71 percent of voters said yes and about 28 percent said no.
In the 46th Ward, more than 70 percent voted yes and about 29 voted no.
In the 49th Ward, 66 percent voted yes and 34 percent voted no.
Mayoral term limits?
Question: Shall Chicago adopt the following term limit for the office of Mayor effective for the mayoral election in 2019 and thereafter: No person may hold the office of Mayor for more than two consecutive elected 4-year terms (with all prior consecutive elected terms of the current officeholder counted in determining the term limit for that officeholder)?
Results: Who knows? The results currently remain unknown because city election officials ruled the question as ineligible. But it stayed on the ballot when backers sued. The ballot question was spearheaded by former Gov. Pat Quinn when it appeared as if Mayor Rahm Emanuel would run for a third term (spoiler: He isn’t). The ruling is being appealed, so there’s a chance we could see how voters responded.