A few dozen newly naturalized American citizens living in Chicago voted Tuesday afternoon for the first time in a U.S. election, casting ballots during the early voting period for the March 15 Illinois primary.
Representatives from the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) assisted the new Americans of Polish, Irish and Mexican descent in the naturalization and voter registration process.
ICIRR representatives led the group on a march in downtown Chicago that started at the Dirksen Federal Building, where the long-term immigrants were naturalized as new American citizens. Afterward, the group headed to the Chicago Board of Elections. There, the new Americans registered to vote and voted early.
"Fortunately, we have early voting and grace period registration to facilitate people who are just getting naturalized now a few days before the primary to be able to still have the opportunity to vote," said ICIRR's Fred Tsao. "It used to be that if you missed the voter registration deadline four weeks before the election, you were out of luck."
Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the race for the 20th district state representative seat, which pits first-time candidate and law student Mo Khan against long-serving GOP incumbent Mike McAuliffe.
The Illinois Republican Party and Rauner campaign sent out manic messages to the media and supporters this weekend crowing about the Chicago Sun-Times' endorsement of the Republican gubernatorial candidate as questions swirl about the motivation behind the decision.
"It may well be the most important election in our state's modern history," reads the endorsement, which was posted online Saturday and published in the Sunday paper.
And although that may very well be true, there is much speculation that the endorsement had little to do with the high stakes of the race and much more to do with Rauner's relationship with the media company and Michael Ferro Jr., chairman of Wrapports LLC, the parent company of Sun-Times Media. Rauner previously owned 10 percent of Wrapports, selling his share to Ferro for $5 million shortly before announcing his gubernatorial run.
Young Illinois Democrats and Republicans say a lot is at stake for them in the November gubernatorial election. Progress Illinois chats with younger Illinoisans about the governor's race and several policy issues on their radar.
Faced with a crucial mid-term election where Republicans are seeking to reclaim the governor's mansion, Illinois Democrats used an annual party gathering Wednesday to provide an early look at their strategy for victory this fall.