Voters head to Illinois midterm voting booths

Emily Bauman, Staff reporter

At 18 years old, citizens are given the opportunity to begin voting; however, many voters are uneducated about who exactly they are voting for and into what positions. With the upcoming midterm elections, here is what young voters need to know before they enter the ballot booth:

Congress race:

The Illinois Congressional District 13 race is between Rodney Davis and Betsy Londrigan.  The US Congressional candidates will be given the ability to assist in making national laws.

Rodney Davis is currently serving running as the District 13 representative and is running again with a platform that supports cutting taxes, increasing job training programs and reforming the effects of Obama’s regulations, especially in Medical Health Care.

Betsy Londrigan, former teacher and co-founder of Women’s Rising is running this year for the first time. Her platform consists of supporting good health care that is financially accessible. She argues against tax cuts, new job legislations and those opposing Obamacare. She wants to expand the current procedure rather than to change them back to a previous state.

Davis is running for the Republican party, but is expected to make more center based choices than other Republicans. Londrigan, on the other hand, is running on a strictly Democratic party view set.


The Illinois State Governor has the ability to control much of Illinois residents’ lives. All legislation, petitions, changes, or improvements will go through the Governor to get their stamp of approval. The race is heavily between Bruce Rauner and J.B Pritzker; however, the race consists of four runners, Rauner, Pritzker, Grayson Jackson, and William McCann.

Currently serving Illinois since 2015, is Bruce Rauner is again running on the same platform. He prides his campaign on fighting corruption within the government system and providing direct and impactful leadership. His main goal is to begin fighting the long term problems here in Illinois. Rauner is a Republican candidate.

Pritzker is the Democratic candidate who is running a heavily marketed and advertised campaign race. He is similarly running a platform that entails fighting to solve problems in Illinois, but with more on a specified interest in education, human rights and values.

The other candidates, Jackson and McCann have a smaller following. Jackson is a Libertarian party representative with background in criminal justice, the navy and education. McCann is another Republican candidate who has an extensive background in construction and the Home Builders Association. McCann is currently serving on the Illinois State Senate, but will end his term at the beginning of the next year.

Secretary of State:

Secretary of State is the position in which all government administrative duties are handled. This often entails taxes and record keeping. Currently serving for Illinois is Jesse White who is running opposed to Jason Helland and Steve Dutner.

Jesse White is a Republican candidate who is best known within the state’s driving facilities and legislation. His experience in this position goes back to 1998 when he was first elected into this position. Since taking office, he has advocated driving safety and focused on teen driving when creating new legislation and driving programs.

Helland, with a background in law enforcement sciences, is running as a Democratic in the Secretary of State race. He wants to make access to local information and documents easier to help make the state more efficient. He is also looking to bring Illinois into a more technology friendly state along with making it a better place for small businesses with documentation and regulation updates.

Guntner is the Libertarian running candidate that seeks to reduce spending and instill more faith in Illinois citizens by eliminating redundant services, reducing fees to small businesses and by making Illinois a more private driving services state.

Attorney General:

The role of the Attorney General is to advise the state government on legislation. They will assist in interpreting, writing and following all legislation in the state of Illinois and in creating new legislation. The current Attorney General of Illinois is not running for another term, meaning that this position will be given to a new candidate. Running are Kwame Raoul, Erika Harold, and  Bubba Hardy

Democratic candidate, Kwame Raoul, is an member of the Illinois State Senate currently and was previously in the Cabinet.  Raoul views the criminal justice system as broken and does not support the death penalty. Until the system can be fix, Raoul will not rest, which is why he is running for Attorney General.

Erika Harold is running on a more general platform of bringing change. She wants to help everyone which she has special interest in gender, race, and sexuality. She wants to end bullying as a Republican party supported candidate.

Bubba Hardy is a Libertarian candidate who is promoting the end of corruption in Illinois. He wants to seek out corrupt individuals and hold them accountable to the full law. He believes that there should be no special privileges.

Attorney General, Governor, Congress, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Comptroller, Senate, House, Appellate court, and Lieutenant Governor are all positions in which Illinois voters have a say in.

These positions at the local level will affect young voters and community members the most in the upcoming years. It’s not hard to find information about the election happening in individuals districts. Sites such as Ballotpedia are good sources that give specific information to all potential voters. Simply searching candidates will provide information such as stances and beliefs which is important to research before voting.

It is important to educate young voters and take a stance in midterm elections now rather than later. Don’t vote for the wrong candidate and don’t waste a voice because of being uninformed.

Young voters need to walk into the voting booths confident and informed to create the world in which they want to live in.