Voters across suburban Chicago took to the polls last night.
Voters in Evanston, Oak Park, Berwyn and Norridge asked voters to raise property taxes in order to avoid budget cuts to schools. All but the Norridge efforts were approved. In Evanston, more than 80 percent of people voted for the measure. That’s an unusual level of success—in the last five years, only about 30 percent of these referendums have been passed in the state.
The race for school board in the suburban Palatine District 211 — Illinois’ largest high school district — was a flashpoint over the debate of how transgender students are treated in schools. There, a slate of challengers had taken the position that transgender students should use separate, single-occupancy facilities if they don’t want to use the bathrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates. They were not elected. Instead, voters selected two incumbents and a former board member.
In southwest suburban Bolingbrook, the mayoral race is still undecided. As of Wednesday morning, incumbent Roger Claar held a lead over challenger Jackie Traynere by about 100 votes. That race had pitted local issues against contentious national politics. Claar has served since 1986, and won re-election easily many times. But last September he helped arrange a fundraiser for Donald Trump at the village golf course. That got a lot of backlash in Bolingbrook, which heavily supported Hillary Clinton in the presidential election.
WBEZ host Lisa Labuz talked to reporters Becky Vevea and Miles Bryan about these races.
Click play above to listen to the entire discussion.