Winner take all, proportional allocation, at large, congressional district.
These are probably some of the terms that you’ve heard thrown around in the past few weeks as the voters in states throughout America, from Maine to Alaska, have been voting in the nominating processes for both parties. But what do they all mean, and what do you do if you’re in Illinois?
Are you registered to vote? If yes, that’s awesome. Do you know where you’re voting on Election Day? That’s even better, and then you can probably skip down a bit. If you’re not registered, don’t worry, because there are several locations that are near you that you can use to register to vote at, including the public library (NOT the Reg. For a full list of locations, read here). If you are registered and don’t know where your polling place is, the Board of Elections actually has an awesome tool for you to use to figure out where your polling place is. I know, it’s finals week and you think that you can’t be bothered, but voting is extremely important. My senior quote when I graduated from high school was from Pericles, who said “just because you don’t take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.”
Now what is Illinois’s system of voting? By now you’re probably aware that Florida and Ohio are both winner take all, but in Illinois we do things a little bit differently. We have a hybrid system of sorts, where the overall winner in Illinois will win the at large state delegates, and the winner of each Congressional District will win the delegates that are voted for in those districts.
In the First Congressional District, I’m on the ballot as an Alternate Delegate for Marco Rubio’s campaign, which basically means that if one of the Delegates can’t do their job and vote for him at the convention, I get called up to do it for them!
There’s been a lot of talk about strategic voting going on recently, and I definitely want to address that here (this is where you should skip ahead to if you already knew everything about voting). Mitt Romney encouraged voting for John Kasich in Ohio, Rubio in Florida, and Cruz where he is ahead because that is the best way to deny Trump delegates. Here in Illinois, I think it’s not too much of a stretch to guess that Cruz will do better downstate than he will in Chicago, which leaves Kasich and Rubio as the best options for those who want to vote against Trump. Something to keep in mind is that Illinois is a state that is extremely difficult to get on the ballot in for just about any election since the signature hurdles are unbelievable. There is only one Republican campaign that has gotten on the ballot in every state that didn’t need to pay for a single signature, and that is Marco Rubio’s. In fact, the Kasich campaign failed to get enough signatures to appear on the ballot in six out of the eighteen districts in the state. He will be on the ballot in every district in Illinois because campaigns have historically had a “gentleman’s agreement,” in which no one will challenge any of the signatures of another campaign for fear of an all out war. That said, the fact that he had these organizational problems (on top of this, Kasich may fail to make the Pennsylvania ballot entirely) make me skeptical of the claim that he’s poised to do the best in this district. I may be a little bit biased but I believe that the best choice by far is to vote for Marco Rubio for the at large spot as well as in the First District. Additionally, I would love to earn your support for my campaign for Alternate Delegate.
On a final note, if you live in the Fifth Ward, I would be further honored if I could earn your vote for my campaign to be Ward Committeeman (while you’re at it, going ahead and like our campaign page!). I am unopposed, but the more votes I get in the primary the more weight we will have once the election is over. It’s been fun knocking throughout the ward, where countless voters have told me that I’m the first candidate they have ever had knock on their door. It’s all about the grassroots!
And there you have a quick summary of the election process in Illinois, with a few of my thoughts interspersed as well. If there are any details I’ve left out let me know, and happy voting!