Chicagoans hit the polls, CTA livestreams platform conditions and more in your Chicago news roundup

Today’s update is a five-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

SHARE Chicagoans hit the polls, CTA livestreams platform conditions and more in your Chicago news roundup
ELECTIONFEB_030123_17.jpg

A person votes inside a voting precinct at St. Moses the Black Athletic Center in the Grand Crossing neighborhood today.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

It’s Election Day and I am with my Sun-Times colleagues at Navy Pier bringing you the latest news on our live blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

We are able to provide you in-depth election coverage thanks to your support!

Today is the last day to join the Sun-Times as a new member or continue your support as an existing member for the chance to win a $1,000 VISA gift card.

Your contribution strengthens our newsroom to provide our community free voter information, news updates, live results (starting at 7 p.m.) and more. Thank you!

Today’s newsletter is about a 5-minute read.

— Katelyn Haas (@khaas96)

This afternoon will be partly sunny with a high near 48 degrees. Tonight will see some rain with a low near 36. Tomorrow will be another partly sunny day with a high near 55.

Top story

Chicagoans hit the polls with city’s issues on their minds

Residents all over the city are making their voices heard this election day, as the polls remain open until 7 p.m.

On the ballot is the mayor, all 50 City Council seats, district police council candidates and several other public office positions. Runoff elections, if necessary, will be held April 4.

Voter turnout at polling places has been slow as of the early afternoon, said Max Bever, director of public information for the Chicago Board of Elections. But that’s in part thanks to a historic amount of voters opting to either vote early in person or by mail, Bever said during a news conference providing a midday update on voting.

“Election Day turnout has been pretty sluggish compared to 2019, which was not great to begin with,” Bever said. “We are about 8,000 votes behind each hour, but that does seem to improve hour by hour and there is still plenty of time.”

For both mail-in and early voting, the board has counted 112,000 ballots as of Monday night and 100,000 mail-in ballots are still outstanding.

Many voters who did stop by the polls today did so because of the pressing issues they say the city is facing.

In the new 34th Ward, Jonathan Burba, a West Loop resident, came out to vote because he’s worried about the crime impacting the city and his neighborhood.

Greg and Keenan Hero, father and son, also of the 34th Ward, came out to vote together at the Merit School of Music.

“I really care about politics, and local elections are very important to push for change,” said Keenan Hero, 22.

Hero, who moved to the West Loop with his family last year, said he’s concerned about protecting LGBTQ rights and fighting climate change.

James Bridges, a 22-year CPD veteran who retired last year, completed what he called his “civic duty” alongside his wife Maya at Wadsworth Elementary School — formerly a part of the 5th Ward now in the 20th Ward.

Bridges said he would’ve preferred more people drop out to rally behind stronger candidates, but ultimately it was good so many people felt comfortable enough to run.

Regardless of how many names were on the ballot, Bridges said he cast his ballot with the greater good in mind, though he hoped the candidate he knew personally — but didn’t name — would win.

“I vote my conscience and I vote my facts, I don’t necessarily always vote from my heart,” Bridges said. “I’m a team guy, I vote for what’s best for the city,” the Woodlawn resident of five years said.

We’ve got more up-to-date election coverage via our live blog.

More news you need

A bright one

In the 21st Ward, donuts and a crowded race for City Council

Kenneth Degales, a 21st Ward resident and lifelong Chicagoan, showed up Tuesday morning at Mahalia Jackson Elementary School with donuts.

He said he was inspired by someone else in the community who started bringing refreshments to election workers, and in November, had promised he would too.

“I wanted to keep my promise and make sure that they’re fully awake, not falling asleep,” Degales said. “The donuts will hopefully help them to keep going.”

Kenneth Degales stands outside of Mahalia Jackson Elementary School holding a bag of Dunkin’ Donuts.

Kenneth Degales, a 21st Ward resident and lifelong Chicagoan, showed up at Mahalia Jackson Elementary School Tuesday morning with donuts.

Zack Miller/Sun-Times

The school, which his grandchildren once attended, was along his morning route, as he still had to cast his vote. Degales said he likes to vote on Election Day to ensure he has enough time to study his ballot.

“It gives you a better outlook of who you’re voting for,” he said.

The 21st Ward originally had a field of 14 candidates for alderperson, though this was cut to seven by the time ballots were printed.

Zack Miller and Kaitlin Washburn have more from the polls here.

From the press box

Your daily question☕

What was your experience like voting at the polls today?

Send us an email at newsletters@suntimes.com and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday we asked you: Why is this year’s municipal election important to you?

Here’s what some of you said...

“The city needs to prioritize certain goals and keep working for them. The city can’t afford to do everything, but it should do what is most critical.” — Linda Jena Fisher

“This is our chance to help form the direction the city takes in the next four years. Either at the mayoral or aldermanic level, we can move the city forward.” — Bob Black

“We need executive leadership that pulls groups together rather than pitting them against one another.” — John Greenwald

Thanks for reading the Chicago Sun-Times Afternoon Edition. Got a story you think we missed? Email us here.

The Latest
Leaders including state Sen. Dick Durbin applauded the move as a path toward sustainability as weather threats and climate change become more common throughout Illinois.
The teams are set to play a three-game series in St. Louis this weekend.
This week, the University of Washington played in the last Pac-12 Baseball Tournament before the conference disbands and the Huskies join the Big Ten.
Mayor Brandon Johnson sent a letter to lawmaker Don Harmon on Thursday asking him to hold House Bill 303, which has already passed the Illinois House and needs a final vote in the Senate.