In addition to voting for their candidates of choice, Chicago residents will have a chance to weigh in on various referendum questions using their ballots in the 2020 general election.
This election, there is one statewide vote on all ballots in Illinois, three questions in Chicago that will appear on ballots citywide and three binding referenda that are specific only to certain precincts within some wards in Chicago.
If a referendum question is binding, that means if the proposal is approved by voters, it will automatically take effect - no further legislative action required. Otherwise, the proposals are oftentimes placed on the ballot to inform elected officials of public opinion on various issues and will not result in any direct action.
To be prepared before you cast your ballot, here's a look at the proposals appearing on ballots across Chicago —
ALL OF ILLINOIS (AMENDMENT TO THE STATE CONSTITUTION)
- Proposed Amendment to the 1970 Illinois Constitution
Explanation of Amendment
The proposed amendment grants the State authority to impose higher income tax rates on higher income levels, which is how the federal government and a majority of other states do it. The amendment would remove the portion of the Revenue Article of the Illinois Constitution that is sometimes referred to as the “flat tax,” that requires all taxes on income to be at the same rate. The amendment does not itself change tax rates. It gives the State the ability to impose higher tax rates on those with higher income levels and lower tax rates on those with middle or lower income levels. You are asked to decide whether the proposed amendment should become a part of the Illinois Constitution.
ALL OF CHICAGO (NON-BINDING PUBLIC QUESTIONS)
- Should the City of Chicago act to ensure that all the City's community areas have access to broadband Internet?
- In creating its City-wide plan for continued growth and sustainability, should the City of Chicago place equal focus on the goals of resiliency, equity, and diversity?
- Should the State of Illinois restrict the sale or possession of firearms that have been defined as assault weapons or of magazines that can hold more than a certain number of rounds of ammunition?
PARTS OF CHICAGO (BINDING REFERENDA)
3rd Ward: Precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41
4th Ward: Precincts 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 18, 19, 25, 28, 29, 30, 32, 35, 36, 38
20th Ward: Precincts 7, 11, 12, 14, 23, 31, 37
- Shall there be established, to serve the territory commonly described on this ballot or notice of this question, a Bronzeville Expanded Mental Health Services Program, to provide direct free mental health services for any resident of the territory who needs assistance in overcoming or coping with mental or emotional disorders, where such program will be funded through an increase of not more than .025% of the equalized assessed valuation of all properties within the boundaries of the territory?"
- Under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law, may an aggregate extension not to exceed $600,000 be made for the Bronzeville Expanded Mental Health Services Program for the 2021 levy year?"
44th Ward: Precinct 16
- Shall the sale of alcoholic liquor containing more than 4% of alcohol by weight, except in the original package and not for consumption on the premises, be prohibited in 16th Precinct of the 44th Ward of the City of Chicago, County of Cook, State of Illinois?