Early voting begins

Early voting for the 2022 Illinois primary election began Monday June 13. Voters will be able to vote up until, and on, Election Day which is June 28. Here are some important dates and information to keep in mind:

  • June 12: Last day to register online to vote in Illinois but you can still register to vote in-person, up until and on election day. Two forms of ID, one of which shows the voter’s current address, are needed to register for the first time or to file a name change or an address update.
  • June 23: Last day to send your mail-in ballot (it should be postmarked before this date).
  • June 28: Illinois primary election. Polls open at 6:00am and close at 7:00pm.

You can vote early at the Chicago Board of Elections Supersite at 191 N. Clark and in all 50 Wards in Chicago including Chicago State University, the UIC Student Center, and University of Chicago’s Reynolds Club. Depending on where they live, voters will be able to cast ballots for the following offices: U.S. Senator, two seats on the Illinois Supreme Court, all seventeen Illinois representatives in Congress, and every senator and representative in the general Assembly including county and judicial offices. In March, registered voters should have received a flyer about requesting a mail-in ballot. You can either fill out the form and mail it back, or you can fill out an application online. After selecting your county, you will be taken to the local application page. For detailed information you can visit chicagoelections.gov.

New ward map incoming

On May 16, City Council voted to approve the new ward map, which will go into effect next year. Ward redrawing takes place every decade and draws on Census data and changing population demographics, but is also a site of politics and power struggle. The Council was just weeks away from having to leave the decision to voters in a referendum, but after months of fighting, the map will consist of sixteen majority-Black wards, fourteen majority-Latinx wards, the first majority Asian-American ward, and twenty-nine majority white wards. The Latino Caucus had for months maintained that they would fight for fifteen Latinx wards given the growth in the Latinx population, but members of the Caucus ended up compromising to give the map the votes it needed. Critics have called the map just as gerrymandered as the old one and that it was created with little input from residents and behind closed doors. In the coming months, the <i>Weekly</i> will publish a series of stories examining the new map, how it came to be, and how it will affect the communities of the South Side.

The Taste of Chicago goes to the neighborhoods

The Taste of Chicago is the largest food festival globally and this year the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) has decided to expand the Taste to three new neighborhoods in addition to the main events happening at its home base in Grant Park. The South and West Side neighborhoods are Austin, Pullman and Little Village. The Taste of Chicago Austin took place on June 11, and the other neighborhoods will have their bite-sized events on two more consecutive Saturdays, June 18 and June 25, leading up to Grant Park in July. In a DCASE press release, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and a representative from John Deere, the presenting sponsors this year, expressed their intent to support and connect with local communities. Before these new neighborhoods were added, the annual festival location limited access to the event for city-dwellers that live far from downtown and may not have the ability to commute. It may have also been presumably hard for local and smaller businesses to have the opportunity to vend at such a famed event in the past. However, criticism remains about the lack of hyperlocal restaurants involved in these events.

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