Illinois voters could help decide Democratic party’s presidential nominee

(The Center Square) – While nearly everything else has be shut down over concerns of spreading COVID-19, Tuesday’s election is still on, and it will determine who Illinois delegates from each of the parties will support heading into the national conventions this summer.

Thursday, when announcing a ban on public gatherings of more than 1,000 people because of coronavirus concerns, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Tuesday’s primary election was a go.

“Free and open elections are the structural support of our democracy,” Pritzker said. “One of the most important duties that I have as governor is to do everything in my power to make sure elections proceed forward as planned.”

Elections in Illinois are decentralized, controlled by 108 local elections boards in Illinois’ 102 counties. The ballots differ depending on the jurisdiction, as there could be different ballot initiatives or referenda voters will get to sound off on.

There could also be separate ballots for Democratic or Republican primaries for various statehouse races.

Those who pull a Republican ballot will see a statewide race with five different candidates vying to be the Republican nominee to take on U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Springfield, in November.

People statewide will also have the chance to vote on which Democratic candidate will get delegates from Illinois.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat, rallied supporters in St. Louis earlier this month.

“We have to beat Donald Trump and the Republican Party, but we can not become like them,” Biden said.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist running in the Democratic Party Primary, rallied thousands in Chicago’s Grant Park earlier this month.

“We’re going to win this election because we have the agenda that speaks to the needs of a long-neglected working class,” Sanders said.

U.S. Rep. Tusli Gabbard, D-Hawaii, is still in the running and on Illinois’ ballot.

But a lot of other Democratic candidates who filed to be on Illinois’ ballot are no longer in contention. Including Biden, Sanders and Gabbard, a total of 13 candidates will appear on the Democratic ballot for president.

People who voted early for a candidate who is no longer in the running won’t get a do-over

“The answer is you can’t do anything because once you vote, you have voted,” Illinois State Board of Elections spokesman Matt Dietrich said. “There is no provision for taking your vote back.”

On the Republican ballot statewide, incumbent President Donald Trump faces two challengers, John Schiess of Wisconsin and and “Rocky” De La Fuente of California.

Voters won’t only be voting for the presidential candidates, but they can also cast votes for delegates that have pledged support for a particular candidate at this summer’s state and national nominating conventions.


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