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Even though the November election is over, we still have a lot of work to do. And we need your help. As you know, right wing zealots are trying to take over village, school and library boards. We can’t let them. Renew your Tenth Dems membership for 2023 or join today!

Tuesday was a great night for Lake County Democrats!

Tuesday was a great night for Lake County Democrats!

Blue Waves in 2018 and 2020 swept in Democrats, and pundits predicted a “Red Wave” year in 2022. In Lake County, that wave swept Republicans right out of office. We won races all over Lake County.

Even our candidates who fell short in the election results were winners. They made a difference by softening the ground and engaging volunteers in formerly dark red areas, turning out voters who then helped our countywide and statewide candidates win. Thank you to our candidates, elected or not, who put themselves forward to represent us. We’re grateful.

Among other wins, every one of our incumbent State Representatives and State Senators were re-elected, while Mary Edly-Allen, Laura Faver Dias and Nabeela Syed were newly elected to the legislature. We also held our significant majority on the county board (14 Democrats and 5 Republicans). Our countywide candidates were all elected or re-elected: Sheriff John Idleburg, Treasurer Holly Kim, Regional Superintendent of Schools Michael Karner, and newly-elected County Clerk, Anthony Vega, who became both our first Hispanic and first openly gay countywide elected official.

And the race between Maria Peterson and Senator Dan McConchie is still undecided! This is doubly significant because McConchie is the Illinois Senate Minority Leader (!) and he may be on the verge of losing. Many pundits wrote off this race as unwinnable, and thought it wouldn’t even be close. Maria proved them all wrong.

Our candidates were successful for many reasons, including:

  • Our recruiting was strong and our candidates were incredible.
  • Democrats who’ve been elected have done a great job – and that’s gotten across to voters.
  • Democrats are good on the issues that matter, and Republicans, quite frankly, are not.
  • Lake Dems’ extensive voter turnout program successfully brought many more voters to the polls.

Our Democratic turnout program included:

  • A mailing to sporadic voters (costing close to $20,000) who are predicted to be Democrats but don’t reliably vote in midterm elections and need motivation and information
  • A large text banking program
  • Phone banking for Judge Elizabeth Rochford for the IL Supreme Court
  • Targeted GOTV phone banking
  • Ads on Social Media firing up the pro-choice vote
  • A targeted countywide mailing (costing almost $20,000) showcasing the diversity of our Lake County candidates
  • A 24/7 Lake Dems Voter Assistance Hotline, staffed by attorneys trained in election law, plus a dedicated Hotline reserved for candidates, staff, attorneys and pollwatchers
  • Door knocking in areas where midterm election turnout is historically low
  • A large Election Protection Team of election attorneys and other pollwatchers trained in election law, who can be moved from polling place to polling place to solve issues that arise in real time (and prioritizing polling places we know from experience have the most problems)
  • Full-color, glossy Democratic Voter Guides for township canvassing in the Fall, and for passing at polling places during Early Voting and on Election Day
  • Volunteer engagement out of three Lake Dems offices in Waukegan, Highland Park and Mundelein, sending campaigners into all areas of the county including traditionally red areas
  • And so much more … but we’re too tired to remember today.

And, of course, thank you to all of our candidates, volunteers, contributors and supporters for everything you do to help elect Democrats! Stay tuned for what we’ll be doing next.

 

Lauren Beth Gash, Chair
Lake County Democrats

Countywide Early Voting Began October 24th; Make Sure Your Vote Counts!

Election Day is approaching very quickly. With so much at stake—reproductive freedom, protection from gun violence, our very democracy—we all need a plan to vote.

First item on your to-do list? Make sure you’re registered to vote at your current address. If you’re not, know that you can register in person at your County Clerk’s office or on the day you vote, either at an Early Voting site or on Election Day at your regular polling place. Just make sure you bring with you two pieces of identification. And one of those must show your current address.

If you’re already registered, make your plan to vote. You can vote right now at limited locations in your county of residence on any weekday between 9am and 5pm. You can request and return a vote-by-mail ballot. Or you can plan to vote in person at any of several Early Voting locations across your county starting October 24th, or on Election Day, November 8th, at your assigned neighborhood polling place.

Here are the details:

How do I request a vote-by-mail ballot?

Go online to your County Clerk’s website. Through the Lake County Clerk’s website and the Cook County Clerk’s website [https://mailvoting.cookcountyclerkil.gov/], you can request your vote-by-mail ballot by simply following the prompts. It will take less than five minutes.

If you live in McHenry County, you will find the form you need online at https://www.mchenrycountyil.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/108324/637956528765030000. But after you fill out the form, you’ll have to print it out and sign it before you can submit it to request your ballot. Although you are permitted to request a mail-in ballot as late as November 3rd, given the unpredictability of the U.S. Mail, we strongly recommend that you do so well before that date.

When will I receive my vote-by-mail ballot?

Ballots will be mailed as requests are received.

How do I send in my completed vote-by-mail ballot?

You can return your vote-by-mail ballot by U.S. Mail or take it to your County Clerk’s office in person.  You can also deposit your completed vote-by-mail ballot in a secure drop box. Starting on October 24, every Early Voting site in Lake and Cook Counties, and many in McHenry County, will have a drop box that you can access without waiting in the line for in-person voting. Lake County already has made available 24-hour secure drop boxes at six locations in the county.

To find drop box locations and hours in Cook County, go to https://www.cookcountyclerkil.gov/elections/ways-to-vote/vote-mail/mail-ballot-drop-box-locations

To find drop box locations and hours in Lake County, go to https://www.lakecountyil.gov/DocumentCenter/View/36233/Drop-Box-Locations-all

To find drop box locations and hours in McHenry County, go to https://www.mchenrycountyil.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/108757/637989328220770000

Cook and Lake Counties have provided postage-prepaid envelopes for returning mail-in ballots. McHenry County requires a regular first-class stamp, but if you forget to put a stamp on the envelope, the post office will deliver it anyway, and the County Clerk is legally required to accept it.

What’s the deadline for sending in my vote-by-mail ballot?

Ballots must be returned to your County Clerk in person or via drop box no later than Election Day, November 8, 2022, by 7 p.m., or via U.S. Mail postmarked no later than 7 p.m. that day. If mailed by 7 p.m. on Election Day, a ballot will be accepted as long as it is received within 14 days after Election Day.

How do I complete my vote-by-mail ballot?

Your vote-by-mail ballot should come to you with clear, illustrated instructions. Color in the ovals the same way you do when you vote in person and then insert the completed ballot in the envelope provided. The single most important step? Make sure you sign the Certification Envelope in which you place your completed ballot the same way you sign your name when you go to vote in person. You should also be sure to write in the date you are returning your ballot in the space provided on that envelope.

What if I get a mail-in ballot but change my mind and want to vote in person?

If you decide to vote in person, bring your vote-by-mail ballot and the certification envelope that came with it to the polling place, hand them to an Election Judge when you check in, and say you want to vote in person. The Election Judge will take your mail-in ballot and give you a regular ballot to vote right then. If you misplaced your vote-by-mail ballot, tell that to the Election Judge, and they still will be able to give you a ballot to vote that day.

What if I still have questions?

If you find that the instructions for completing and returning your mail-in ballot are unclear, or have any other questions about voting, call the Democratic Voter Assistance Hotline at 847-432-VOTE (8683).

 

Election Protection Pollwatcher Training Thursday, November 3rd

Would you like to help make sure that everyone eligible to vote is allowed to vote? We’re presenting our fourth “how-to” session for attorneys and other pollwatchers this Thursday, November 3rd, from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm, via Zoom. 1.5 hours of FREE professional responsibility CLE (Continuing Legal Education) credit available for attorneys. Click here to RSVP. A Zoom link will be sent the day of the training.

When you attend this training, you’ll learn about voting rights in Illinois and how to help our Democratic candidates as a member of our Tenth Dems/Lake Dems Election Protection team by making sure voters can exercise those rights.

Our in-depth, practical training for attorneys and other pollwatchers is open to Democrats. Click here to RSVP.

And to join the Tenth Dems/Lake Dems Election Protection Team on November 8th, or during Early Voting, click here.

Republican Lake County Clerk Turns Away Voters on First Day of Early Voting

The first day of early voting saw a delay of almost four hours before ballots could be cast at the Early Voting site at Republican Lake County Clerk Robin O’Connor’s office in Waukegan. Although voting at County Clerks’ offices was supposed to begin across Illinois on Thursday morning, O’Connor wasn’t prepared for voters until around 1 pm.

The Clerk and her staff handed out Vote-By-Mail applications to voters who were turned away and or told to come back later.  Her Democratic opponent, Anthony Vega, pointed out that the Clerk had not adequately informed voters about the late opening, including not warning them about it on their website or social media.

“Instead of informing the public of the need to delay the opening of the Clerk’s Office early vote polling location, voters are left with no information about when they will be able to cast their ballots in the 2022 General Election,” Vega said in a news release. “Voting is a fundamental right in our democracy and it is clear Robin O’Connor does not take this responsibility seriously. In this coming election, voters will be faced with a simple choice: voting for Anthony Vega, who will protect our democracy, or voting for Robin O’Connor who is not up to the job and leaving our democracy up to chance. Lake County deserves better.”