LIVE BLOG: Lightfoot, Preckwinkle Poised to Make Chicago Mayoral Runoff

Live updates from voters, polling places and campaign headquarters across Chicago

Note: We'll be streaming live from mayoral candidates' campaign headquarters throughout the night in the player above. Right now is a live look from Willie Wilson's HQ.

Election Day has arrived in Chicago, with voters making their choice in a 14-way race for mayor that's destined for a runoff election and aldermanic races in many of the city's 50 wards.

Here's a look at live updates from voters, polling places and campaign headquarters across Chicago during the 2019 municipal elections. 


9:39 p.m. BREAKING NEWS: Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle appear poised to make April runoff election for Chicago mayor as Bill Daley concedes.

9:25 p.m. Paul Vallas concedes after earning 5.45 percent of the vote with 87 percent of precincts reporting.

9:19 p.m. Supporters are still checking coats and heading into a very full Bill Daley's headquarters. Daley still has not made an appearance.

9:12 p.m. Lori Lightfoot speaks as election results show she leads the race for Chicago mayor. She thanks supporters: "You have been remarkable."

9:08 p.m. Willie Wilson tells his supporters he is not conceding yet, citing a long night ahead.

8:57 p.m. Amara Enyia concedes after earning 7.9 percent of the vote with 82 percent of precincts reporting.

8:38 p.m. Susana Mendoza delivers concession speech, garnering 9.06 percent of the vote with 76 percent of precincts reporting.

8:30 p.m. Lori Lightfoot, Toni Preckwinkle and Bill Daley appear to have pulled ahead in the race. Lightfoot stands at 17.5 percent of the vote, Preckwinkle at 15.8 percent and Daley at 14.8 percent, with 75 percent of precincts reporting. The top two vote-getters make the April runoff election. Willie Wilson is in fourth place with just over 10 percent. 

8:24 p.m. Former Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy delivers concession speech after earning 2.7 percent of the vote with 75 percent of precincts reporting. 


8:16 p.m. Ald. Marty Quinn appears headed to victory over DePaul freshman in 13th Ward, election results indicate.

8:15 p.m. Gery Chico delivers concession speech, garnering 6.3 percent of the vote with 75 percent of precincts reporting. 

8:10 p.m. "I have lived in Chicago for 35 years," said Kristi Milton, a Lightfoot partygoer and supporter. "I have never been so excited for the prospects of this city and I've always been a voter." She described the party atmosphere as "organic effervescence."

7:52 p.m. With 56 percent of precincts reporting, Lori Lightfoot leads the field with 17 percent, followed by Toni Preckwinkle at 16 percent and Bill Daley at 15 percent. Live updates.

7:47 p.m. Chicago's voter turnout did NOT hit a record low. Approximately 500,000 voters cast ballots, according to the Chicago Board of Elections. Final turnout likely will be 34 percent of registered voters, beating the 2007 election by 1 percent. The surge was last minute, Board of Elections spokesman Jim Allen says, attributing some of the last-minute voters to social media shaming.

7:38 p.m. Cheering at Lori Lightfoot's campaign headquarters as early results show her in the lead.

7:14 p.m. It isn’t just Chicago mayor — here’s a look at some of the other races you should keep an eye on throughout the night.

7 p.m. Polls are now closed across Chicago. The Chicago Board of Elections stresses that if voters are in line before 7 p.m. they must be allowed to vote.

6:44 p.m. Susana Mendoza's mayoral campaign co-chair Marty Castro called this "a historic election for lots of reasons" and says he feels confident about tonight's results. "You always want to have the highest turnout as possible, but when you look at the early vote ... there is a higher-than-the-typical amount of Latinos that have voted early," Castro said from Mendoza's campaign headquarters at Moe's Cantina.

6:22 p.m. In an interview with mayoral candidate Willie Wilson, he talked about the need for Chicago to come together. "We hit all 77 communities in Chicago. So thank God for that," he said. "We were able to get feedback from a cross-section of the city of Chicago ... including my base -- African Americans." Wilson said he had hoped a lot of young people would come out to vote. 

6:20 p.m. Mayoral candidate Garry McCarthy is asked about entering the race before Rahm Emanuel dropped out and whether voters will take that into account. "Well I hope they do," he said, "because the people who jumped in after the mayor dropped out are political opportunists who are not doing it for the right reasons and all the candidates who were in the race before that bring that to the attention of the voters."

“If you aren’t willing to take on Rahm Emanuel I don’t think you that you should be talking about how you have all the answers. If you had the answers in August you should have come forward, not in September after Rahm dropped out."

6:08 p.m. All quiet at Bill Daley's election headquarters at Venue West in the West Town neighborhood, with just under an hour left until polls close.

6 p.m. Last hour to vote in Chicago! We'll have live election results as votes are tallied tonight. Bookmark this link to our live results page.

5:47 p.m. Lori Lightfoot arrives at her election night headquarters.

5:40 p.m. Lori Lightfoot's communications director Nadia Perl says she expects a large turnout at Lightfoot's election night party at the EvolveHer work space in River North. Perl says Lightfoot will arrive soon to answer a few media questions.

5:30 p.m. Willie Wilson arrives at his campaign headquarters at the Swissotel. When asked how he feels going into tonight, he said, "Like James Brown, I feel good." 

4:30 p.m. Voter turnout is at 427,294 which is 26.9 percent of registered voters, according to Chicago Board of Elections spokesman Jim Allen. That number includes vote by mail and early voting ballots submitted Monday night, but not roughly 6,000 mail-in ballots received Tuesday, which will be added to the count beginning Wednesday, along with other late-arriving ballots.

Compared to the midterm elections in November 2018, the biggest difference has been young people. 2018 turnout by age group compared to now:

25-34: 189K vs. 52K now

35-44: 163K vs. 63K now

45-54: 151K vs. 69K now

55+: 190K vs. 135K now

Total turnout last fall was 61 percent, we’re now looking at 31-32 percent, Allen said.

Record low turnout was in 2007 at 33.08 percent, for a race that was not highly contested and no one expected it to be close, leading to low voter interest.

"We may be in that neighborhood by the time all the ballots are counted by March 12," Allen said, but he noted that comparing the two was like "apples and oranges."

“Here we have an open mayoral contest with 14 candidates on the ballot. We had polling on Election Day that emerged in some media reports that put two, three, four candidates within striking distance of each other so it’s really surprising that in a hotly contested race for mayor where there are multiple choices and it seems to be highly competitive, that we would have turnout anywhere near 2007," Allen said.

Turnout “doesn’t reflect the high numbers in early voting, it doesn’t reflect high numbers we saw in vote by mail. Voters are changing their behavior," he added.

Examples of high turnout was 47 percent in 1991, 75 percent in 1987, according to Allen, who said Tuesday's turnout, hovering around 30 percent, "is good for any city typically but not good for Chicago."

“We've seen a remarkable number of institutions and individuals be reluctant to even offer an endorsement saying they’ll wait til April 2," Allen said, speculating that it's possible "voters have done the same."

1:20 p.m.: [[506392041, C]]

12:45 p.m.: Here's the latest updates from the Chicago Board of Elections:

Including early voting and mail-in ballots, the total number of votes cast just before 1 p.m. was just over 303,000. Of that total, only 55 percent came from Election Day. If this pace continues, officials said the day could end with an historically low voter turnout for a municipal election in the city. 

"Given what we’ve heard about the polling in this election there couldn’t possibly be a time where your vote counted more and Chicago voters need to be reminded that their votes count more," Chicago Election Board spokesman Jim Allen said. 

So far, two election judges have been removed from their precincts, one for allegedly encouraging voters to support a specific aldermanic candidate and a second for "verbal abuse."

Election officials confirmed at least one location in Independence Park didn't open until 8:10 a.m. or 8:15 a.m., well after the 6 a.m. start time. They are also investigating complaints that a location serving two precincts also opened late. 

On the other hand, officials touted a polling location in the 5th Ward where election judges "powered through" a lack of heat and no electricity. 

A shooting was reported near a polling place at Hoyne Park, Allen said. Police could not confirm details on the shooting, however. 

12:20 p.m.: [[506387611, C]]

11:21 a.m.: As of 11 a.m., more than 117,000 votes have been cast in Chicago, according to election officials. 

10:45 a.m.:  Chicago's next mayor may not be decided by tonight. Here's why. 

10:20 a.m.: A very smooth day so far at the Glessner House, a museum in the Prairie District that functions as a 3rd Ward polling place. A steady stream of voters has been in and out here, very intent on having their voices heard. Precinct Captain says most people come after work, and reminds South Loop residents that even if there is a line, you should get in that line - it assures you can vote, even if 7 p.m. comes and goes.

9:44 a.m.: After reports of electioneering in the 25th Ward at Precinct 4, election officials say "field dispatch is fully aware of the complaints and is keeping an eye on things over." 

9:22 a.m.: Chicago Board of Elections says polls at Precinct 4 in Ward 45 were "up and running around 8 a.m."

8:43 a.m.: Chicago Board of Elections says it has called Precinct 41 in the 44th Ward after reports they were checking signatures and asking for the last two digits of voters' social security numbers. Election officials said they called the precinct and "rules were clarified." 

8:36 a.m.: Chicago Board of Elections responds to a complaint that voters were turned away at precinct 3 in Irving Park. Election officials said they have spoken to judges at the precinct and are "following up accordingly." They also reported looking into a compalin that some voters were turned away from precinct 9 in the 46th Ward. 

8:30 a.m.: Chicago Board of Elections says turnout is above 40,000 as of 8 a.m. 

8 a.m.: Candidate Gery Chico has voted at Polling Place 42 at Harold Washington College.

7:45 a.m.: Vallas said he feels optimistic after casting his ballot.

7:20 a.m.: Mayoral candidate Paul Vallas votes at the Beldon Stratford in Lincoln Park.  

6:30 a.m.: With Emanuel stepping aside, and a number of young progressive challengers vying for aldermanic seats, City Council could soon look quite different. Here's a look at 12 big races happening across the city.

6:15 a.m.: The first votes have been cast! Not sure what you should bring with you to vote? Here's a checklist.

6 a.m.: Polls open across Chicago! Find your polling place here. You can also see who will be on your ballot before you vote. Click here for more. 


Who's running for mayor? Fourteen people are running to be Chicago's next mayor, the largest number of candidates in city history. 

Where do they stand on certain issues? To help cut through the campaign noise, we asked all 14 candidates for mayor seven questions to help inform voters on who they are and where they stand on certain issues the city faces. See their answers here

Who's endorsed? If you're still undecided, it can be helpful to known who's backing whom. Click here for a breakdown of the 14 mayoral candidates' endorsements.

What questions will be on the ballot? In addition to voting for your chosen candidates, you can weigh in on issues specific to your ward and even down to your precinct. Click here to find the questions that will be asked of various Chicago voters.

How to get live results: Live Election Day coverage will air on NBC 5 throughout the evening and at 10 p.m. You can also track up-to-the-minute race results live in the NBC Chicago app - where you can turn on notifications to get alerts on winners of the biggest races - and right here on For more info click here

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