The votes have been cast, but there’s a lot still unknown in the 2020 General Election at the national, state, and local levels.
Unique Challenges of The 2020 General Election
That’s largely due to the high volume of mail-in ballots. The DuPage County Clerk’s office said as of 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, 163,296 voters mailed in their ballot, with just under 50,000 requested mail-in ballots still outstanding.
Will County reported 101,800 mail-in ballots counted with 23,252 still outstanding. Both counties’ turnouts were record-setting.
“Record numbers came from early voting and vote by mail. It’s interesting because people still went to the polls, they just went to the early voting locations,” said Will County Clerk Lauren Staley Ferry.
Illinois was one of the first states called in the presidential election, and it went to Democrat Joe Biden. DuPage County shows 57.2% in Biden’s favor, with President Donald Trump earning 40.8%. Will County is closer, with Biden winning 52.7% to Trump’s 45.3%.
“As we think about, writ large, what’s happening in the country, we see that the suburbs are drifting Democratic,” said North Central College political science professor William Muck. “And we saw that in DuPage County, we saw that in Naperville and elsewhere. That’s a really important measure, thinking about what’s going to happen over the next 5, 10, or 15 years in terms of the breakout of the country.”
U.S. House of Representatives
In the U.S. House of Representatives, at least two Democrats have kept their seats.
The only local race that was called on election night went the way of incumbent Bill Foster, of Illinois’ 11th Congressional District. He defeated Republican challenger Rick Laib 62.9% to 37.1%.
Illinois’ 6th Congressional District incumbent Sean Casten defeated Republican Jeanne Ives and Libertarian Bill Redpath in a race that was called early this morning. Casten won 51.5% of the vote to Ives’ 46.7% and Redpath’s 1.7%.
“The most difficult race for an incumbent is that first one,” said Muck. “Can you establish a legacy? And then it gets much easier down the road. So I was curious to see how he did and he won and he won fairly handily. Looks like he benefitted from some of the bump from Biden in DuPage County.”
The third congressional race is incredibly close, with less than 900 votes separating Republican Jim Oberweis and Democrat incumbent Lauren Underwood.
Oberweis, leading 50.1% to Underwood’s 49.9%, put a statement on Facebook saying. “I want to give a big thank you to everyone who has supported my campaign, it means the world to me. I will always fight for our constitution and the values of IL-14.”
Underwood released a similar statement saying, “Votes are still being counted in this race and this race remains too close to call. We’re excited to see record-breaking voter turnout across this community, and commend our county clerks offices for their work during this unprecedented election.”
Illinois General Assembly
More close races occurred in the Illinois General Assembly, with Illinois’ 42nd, 81st, and 97th Representative Districts all too close to call. On Thursday morning, Republican incumbent Grant Wehrli conceded the race for Illinois’ 41st Representative District to Democrat Janet Yang Rohr. She won with 51.6% of the vote.
In Illinois’ 42nd Representative District, Republican incumbent Amy Grant leads Democrat Ken Mejia-Beal with 52.3% of the vote.
Illinois’ 81st Representative District currently shows Democrat incumbent Anne Stava-Murray leading Republican Laura Hois with 52.1% of the vote.
And in Illinois’ 97th Representative District, Republican incumbent Mark Batinick won with 52.4% of the vote over Democrat Harry Benton.
Still Unknown Data
Several of these races in the General Election are still up in the air due to historically high turnout and a large number of mail-in ballots.
“Turnout was huge all over the place and it puts a tremendous amount of strain on those people counting the ballots,” said Muck. “So I’m guessing everyone realized the gravity of all of this. So that means everybody’s taking their time, getting it right, making sure there’s no mistakes. And that would be my guess for why it took so long.”
Mail-in ballots can still be counted if they arrive after Election Day, but must be postmarked by November 3. Election officials have 14 days to count ballots and 21 days to certify the results. That means these percentages are subject to change.
“We have around 6,000 vote by mail ballots right now that we’re still processing. I don’t know what came in the mail today and we’re obviously still going to get more over the next few days that are postmarked by November 3,” said Staley Ferry.
DuPage County Elections
DuPage County Board District 5 results show Democrat Amy Chavez leads Republican and current Naperville City Councilman Kevin Coyne. Chavez has 54.9% of the vote.
DuPage County Circuit Court Clerk is also hotly contested, with Democrat Candice Adams leading Republican incumbent Chris Kachiroubas 50.1% to 49.9%.
Results for the District 5 seat on the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County show Democrat Barbara O’Meara leads Republican incumbent Mary Lou Wehrli 54.3% to 45.7%.
DuPage referenda showed 75.3% of voters in favor of continuing to consider financial support of law enforcement its top budget priority, 89% in favor of the county obtaining a stockpile of PPE, and 90% in favor of funding training methods to decrease injury to officers and suspects for law enforcement.
Will County Elections
The race for Will County Chief Executive Officer shows Democrat Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant winning 54% of the vote over Republican Nick Ficarello.
Statewide Ballot Measure
In a highly-publicized and well-funded campaign on both sides, a state ballot measure to switch from a flat income tax to a graduated income tax was voted down with 55% of votes against the amendment.
Several state and local races are still too close to call. NCTV17 will continue to report on races in the 2020 General Election that have not yet been called as results come in.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
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