Illinois’ 2020 primary leaves hundreds of thousands of ballots still to be counted in Chicago alone

The large number of uncounted ballots could affect the 3rd Congressional District race, where Marie Newman declared victory over incumbent U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, even though they were separated by about 2,100 votes.

SHARE Illinois’ 2020 primary leaves hundreds of thousands of ballots still to be counted in Chicago alone
An election judge speaks with a voter at the Lincoln Lodge polling place on March 17, 2020.

An election judge speaks with a voter at the Lincoln Lodge polling place on March 17, 2020.

James Foster/For the Sun-Times

Complete coverage of the local and national primary and general election, including results, analysis and voter resources to keep Chicago voters informed.

Chicagoans braced for the threat of coronavirus and plenty of mishaps at polling places to vote in the 2020 primary election — an election with at least two tight races that could be affected by what could be more than a quarter of a million ballots yet to be counted.

Chicago Board of Elections spokesman Jim Allen late Tuesday said 200,000 early voting ballots had yet to be counted, and a “potential universe” of another 70,000 mail-in ballots could arrive to be counted in the next two weeks.

“We’re going to be counting for another two weeks, easily,” Allen said.

Allen explained that the city’s election board normally shuts down early voting the Monday before Election Day. It gathers all the memory chips from machines to be able to report out all early voting data, like “one big happy family of data.”

“This time we had early voting open on Election Day and serving as precinct [polling places], so now those precincts are coming in with all early voting data, going back to Feb. 19th,” Allen said. “That’s 200,212 ballots.”

The mail-in ballot conundrum is one the city has never seen. Chicago voters — with most of the city working from home — had to postmark their ballots by Tuesday in order to have their votes counted.

The large number of uncounted ballots could affect the 3rd Congressional District race, where Marie Newman declared victory over incumbent U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, even though they were separated by about 2,100 votes. That district includes some Chicago precincts. Lipinski refused to concede.

It could also impact the race for the seat once held by the late Illinois Supreme Court Justice Charles E. Freeman.

Supreme Court Justice P. Scott Neville led Appellate Court Justice Jesse Reyes by about 27,000 votes in a race where voters split their ballot among seven candidates.

The Latest
Frustrations boiled over for the Bulls in the second half. DeMar DeRozan was issued a technical foul in the closing minute of the third quarter, and Nikola Vucevic was ejected after a flagrant 2 foul in the fourth.
After yielding 46 points and 16 rebounds to Giannis Antetokounmpo in a 113-97 loss Friday to the Bucks, the Bulls (28-32) sat in ninth place in the Eastern Conference. A spot in the play-in tournament is all that comes with it.
Ald. William Hall and Pastor John Boston at Shiloh Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 7000 S. Michigan Ave., led prayers for the community and families of victims of violence.
The result marks the Ramblers’ first home victory against a ranked team in 38 years. Loyola moved a half-game behind first-place Richmond in the Atlantic 10.