The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

A Chicago college student guide to the Illinois Primary: what you need to know

A voter shows her “I voted” sign after casting her ballot in Chicago, Tuesday, March 19, 2024. Illinois is one of five states holding presidential primaries as President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump continue to lock up support around the country after becoming their parties’ presumptive nominees. Voters are casting ballots Tuesday in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Kansas and Ohio. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford)

Illinois held its primary elections March 19, during which voters cast their ballots in key races across the state, ultimately determining which candidates will advance to the general election on Nov. 5. Highly anticipated races such as the State’s Attorney nomination and the Bring Chicago Home initiative were decided on by Illinois voters. 


As predicted, Joe Biden secured the Democratic majority with 91.5% of the votes in Illinois, followed by Marianne Williamson, who received 3.6% of the votes. These results give 147 Illinois delegates to President Biden.

Former President Donald Trump took the commanding lead in Illinois in the GOP primary, receiving 80.6% of the vote, followed by Nikki Haley, who received 14.4% of the vote.

Overall, 729,877 votes were cast for Biden, while 476,217 votes were cast for Trump. Illinois will hold its general election Tuesday, Nov. 5.

There were efforts on the part of pro-Palestinian activists to write in “Gaza” as their preferred presidential candidate on the primary ballot. Similar initiatives have taken place in primaries in Michigan and Wisconsin

Cook County State’s Attorney

Eileen O’Neill Burke defeated opponent Clayton Harris III in the Democratic primary for Cook County state’s attorney. Winning by razor-thin margins, Burke received 264,482 votes, with Harris III falling shortly behind with 262,857 votes — just over 1,600 votes. 

This race has been called “one of the narrowest local primary election wins in recent memory,” according to WBEZ, Chicago’s public radio affiliate, and an official winner was not declared until nearly two weeks after election day. Burke will run against Republican opponent Bob Fioretti in November and is predicted to win in a heavily Democratic Cook County.

In her campaign platform, Burke assures Cook Country residents the “level of public safety they desire.” The primary winner also called for finding ways to provide safer rides on public transportation, removing illegal firearms from the street and other safety measures in a press conference on Monday, April 1. 

Bring Chicago Home

Chicago primary voters also cast their votes on the “Bring Chicago Home” referendum. 

The referendum would raise the real estate transfer tax on properties over $1 million to create a consistent revenue stream for homeless services in Chicago.

The referendum sparked controversy from developers and real estate corporations across the city and faced a long battle before being officially placed on the ballot for the primary election. 

The referendum did not receive enough votes to pass, with 184,890 “No” votes being cast compared with  169,492 “Yes” votes. 

Illinois residents still not registered to vote can easily do so online before the Nov. 5 general election.


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