Decision 2020

Live Election Updates: Income Tax Proposal Rejected, Casten Claims Victory

GET THE LATEST ELECTION RESULTS FROM ACROSS ILLINOIS AND THE REST OF THE U.S.

Votes were still being counted the morning after Election Day as key races tightened, but remained too close to call in Illinois.

Though some races were projected not long after polls closed in the state, many residents woke up Wednesday to few new answers.

But as the morning rolled on, and more votes were counted, results slowly began to come in.

Here are the latest updates in Illinois:

12:10 p.m.: Lauren Underwood Campaign Releases Statement

Lauren Underwood's campaign released a statement Wednesday afternoon as the race in Illinois' 14th Congressional District between the freshman Democrat and her Republican challenger Jim Oberweis remained too close to call.

"Votes are still being counted in this race and this race remains too close to call," the statement read. We're excited to see record-breaking voter turnout across this community, and commend our county clerks offices for their work during this unprecedented election."

11:50 a.m.: Trump Campaign Plans to Call for Recount in Wisconsin

President Donald Trump's campaign said it plans to request a recount "immediately" as the state remained too close to call Wednesday morning.

“Despite ridiculous public polling used as a voter suppression tactic, Wisconsin has been a razor thin race as we always knew that it would be. There have been reports of irregularities in several Wisconsin counties which raise serious doubts about the validity of the results," Trump's campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement. "The President is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, the race remains close with Democrat Joe Biden holding a lead of around 20,000 votes.

In Wisconsin, if a race is within 1% point, the trailing candidate can request a recount. The total number of voters in those towns is around 600, according to the Wisconsin Election Commission.

10:30 a.m.: Rep. Sean Casten Wins Race for Illinois' 6th District Race as Jeanne Ives Concedes

Rep. Sean Casten, the first Democrat to represent Illinois' 6th Congressional District in decades, won a second term after his Republican opponent conceded the race early Wednesday.

Casten led Republican Jeanne Ives by five points, 52% to 47%, which equated to more than 17,000 votes, with 99% of precincts reporting early Wednesday. Libertarian Bill Redpath won 2% of the vote, results showed.

Casten declared victory early Wednesday, winning reelection in the district he first turned blue in 2018.

“Tonight, the voters of the 6th District sent a resounding message. They voted for science and facts. They voted for decency, acceptance, and love, and rejected bigotry and racism. They said that they believe we should all have high-quality, affordable health care. They acknowledged the climate crisis and decided we must do something about it," Casten said in a statement.

“To the voters -- you have given me a tremendous amount of responsibility, and I can only hope to live up to your expectations. Over the next two years, you can expect more town halls and accessibility from my office. In Congress, I will continue to advocate for our District on COVID relief, health care, combating climate change and job creation," he added. "More than anything else, thank you to all who participated in this election.”

Hours later, Ives conceded defeat in a lengthy statement in which she again took aim at Democrats in Illinois and said she found "solace" in the rejection of the state's proposal to change to a graduated income tax system.

"For me, this campaign is over," Ives' statement reads, in part.

"In this election, we ran against - not only Sean Casten - but members of  both parties’ establishments, the media and other institutions that have protected entrenched interests for decades," she added. "My team fought hard, but in the end the power of the opposition was too great. It is somewhat unclear to me what lies ahead for Illinoisans. 

10:15 a.m.: Illinois' Graduated Income Tax Proposal Rejected, AP Projects

The proposal on every ballot in Illinois to change the state’s income tax from a flat rate to a graduated tax was rejected, the Associated Press projected early Wednesday, as the vote trailed by a 10-point margin and the committee pushing for its passage conceded defeat.

Votes against the proposal were leading 55% to 45%, more than 2.7 million votes against to more than 2.2 million votes in favor, with 98% of precincts reporting statewide, election results showed at around 8:45 a.m. early Wednesday.

10 a.m.: Oberweis Speaks as Race Remains Too Close to Call

After sleeping for one hour, Dairy Magnate and State Senator Jim Oberweis spoke in Aurora outside his office as the between him and Democratic Congresswoman Lauren Underwood remains too close to call.

“We are certainly cautiously optimistic. The latest information we have, is I am up 895 votes, with 100% of precincts reporting, so we hope that’s how it ends up," Oberweis said. "I couldn’t have done any more door knocks, I went out eight, nine , ten hours a day, on the weekends. “

The race is too close to call.

Oberweis appeared with President Trump at a rally in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Monday.

“I was actually up on the stage speaking, before the president got there. I mean, I am very proud of the things our president was able to accomplish. This economy was rocking and rolling until the pandemic came along," he said.

Underwood’s staff as of 10 a.m. has not responded to our requests for comment.

915 a.m.: Pritzker-Backed Committee Pushing for Passage Concedes Defeat on Illinois' Graduated Income Tax Proposal

The committee pushing for the proposal on every ballot in Illinois to change the state’s income tax from a flat rate to a graduated tax conceded defeat early Wednesday morning, as the vote trailed by a 10-point margin.

“We are undoubtedly disappointed with this result but are proud of the millions of Illinoisans who cast their ballots in support of tax fairness in this election," Vote Yes For Fairness Chairman Quentin Fulks said in a statement.

“Illinois is in a massive budget crisis due to years of a tax system that has protected millionaires and billionaires at the expense of our working families, a crisis that was only made worse by the Coronavirus pandemic," he continued. "Republican legislators and their billionaire allies who brought us the dysfunction and pain of the Rauner years continue to stand in the way of common sense solutions, choosing instead to play partisan games and deceive the working families of our state. Now lawmakers must address a multi-billion dollar budget gap without the ability to ask the wealthy to pay their fair share. Fair Tax opponents must answer for whatever comes next.”

Fulks' statement was his second made as results continued to roll in, after first urging patience in counting outstanding votes on Tuesday night.

Votes against the proposal were leading 55% to 45%, more than 2.7 million votes against to more than 2.2 million votes in favor, with 98% of precincts reporting statewide, election results showed at around 8:45 a.m. early Wednesday.

The measure was a proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution, which can be ratified one of two ways: if three-fifths (or 60%) of people voting on the amendment approve it, or if a simple majority (50% plus one) of all voters, including those who skip the question on their ballots, approve it.

Illinois election officials said Tuesday night that they estimated somewhere between 300,000 and 400,000 remained unreturned by Election Day and could continue to arrive within the two-week window in which they can legally be counted, potentially impacting the outcome of some races.

Those outstanding ballots and the uncertainty surrounding the results led supporters of the amendment to declare that the outcome of the statewide vote wouldn’t be known until all ballots are counted. Still, the margin by which “No” votes were ahead led opponents of the measure to declare victory Tuesday night.

"When all the votes are counted, we believe there will be more 'no' votes than 'yes' votes, and that will be a win for small business owners, middle-class families, family farmers, retirees, and large employers,” Lissa Druss, spokeswoman for the Coalition to Stop the Proposed Tax Hike Amendment, said in a statement. “In this election, Illinois voters sent a resounding message that with an $8 billion deficit and two massive tax hikes in the last ten years, we cannot trust Springfield Politicians with another tax hike."

Even before Election Day, Illinois election officials noted this race in particular as one for which results would likely not be definitively known on election night due to the formula for its approval.

8:50 a.m.: Chicago's Mayor Says She's 'Heartened' City Remains Calm, Urges Diligence

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot released a statement Wednesday morning saying while she is "heartened that our city remains calm and peaceful," it is "crucial for us as a city to be focused and diligent."

"We wake this morning with little clarity in the presidential race, but with some important known facts. While counting of some ballots in Chicago continues, we know thanks to the collaboration and support of our city's departments and agencies, and the Chicago Board of Elections, a near-historic number of Chicagoans rose to meet this moment in an unprecedented year by casting their ballots, volunteering at polling places, and making their collective voice heard," Lightfoot said in a statement. "We have much to be proud of as a city."

NBC News projected that former Vice President Joe Biden will capture Illinois' 20 electoral votes, holding down a key Democratic stronghold in the 2020 race. It was also projected that Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin will retain his seat, fending off Republican Mark Curran and independent candidate Dr. Willie Wilson.

Election officials in several key states are still working to count ballots in the presidential race between President Donald Trump and Biden, and the process could take several days in some locations.

In states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, votes are still being tabulated late Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, with some mail-in and absentee ballots still waiting to be counted in those states.

Other key states, including Georgia and Arizona, remain too close to call, according to NBC News projections.

"As we anxiously await the outcome of the presidential and other races, I am heartened that our city remains calm and peaceful," Lightfoot said. "This election has generated a lot of emotions on all sides. There will be a lot of chatter until the election results are verified, but it is crucial for us as a city to be focused and diligent to be sure, but also calm and peaceful. Let's channel our emotions into a productive expression of our First Amendment rights. No matter the outcome, we will get through this by remaining together, as neighbors who need each other and love our great city and country.”

7:16 a.m.: Wabash Bridge Near Trump Tower Remains Raised

The Wabash Avenue bridge remains raised Wednesday morning after city officials decided to raise it Election night in a preemptive move ward off potential unrest near Trump Tower.

The bridge was shut down “as part of a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of residents,” said Mary May, spokeswoman for the Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

The bridge could be seen raised about 6:15 p.m. Tuesday. The strategy was employed multiple times this summer in attempts to keep the downtown area safe from looting during protests against police brutality and violence.

May noted the city does not plan to block off any other bridges into downtown.

“All other streets, bridges and CTA stops in the downtown area remain accessible at this time,” May said. “No other bridges are expected to be out of service and there are currently no planned street closures in the downtown area.”

However, the city still plans on raising each bridge from Lake Shore Drive to Ashland Avenue in succession Wednesday morning for the regularly scheduled sailboat run, starting at 9:30 a.m., May said.

1:56 a.m.: Margin Between Casten, Ives Remains Razor Thin

The margins in the race in Illinois' 6th Congressional District between freshman Democrat Rep. Sean Casten and one of two challengers appeared to be too slim to declare a winner Tuesday night.

Casten led Republican challenger Jeanne Ives by five points, which equated to more than 17,000 votes, with Libertarian Bill Redpath earning roughly 6,000 votes, with roughly 93% of precincts reporting as of 2 a.m. Wednesday.

Those results meant NBC News had not yet made a prediction in the race.

Illinois election officials said Tuesday that they estimated somewhere between 300,000 and 400,000 remained unreturned by Election Day and could continue to arrive within the two-week window in which they can legally be counted, potentially impacting the outcome of some races.

The latest tally from state election officials showed that thousands of those ballots were in the counties in which the 6th District is located - with the possibility to sway the race. 

1:47 a.m.: Race Between Underwood, Oberweis Still Too Close to Call

The race in Illinois' 14th Congressional District between Rep. Lauren Underwood, the freshman Democrat, and her Republican challenger Jim Oberweis remained too close to call early Wednesday.

Oberweis led Underwood by less than 2,000 votes with 86% of precincts reporting as of 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, early election results showed, with NBC News not yet making a projection in the race.

12:48 a.m.: Illinois' Graduated Income Tax Proposal: Where Vote on Amendment Stands

The proposal on every ballot in Illinois to change the state’s income tax from a flat rate to a graduated tax was trailing Tuesday night as supporters urged patience and opponents declared victory - though election officials warned in advance that its fate may not be known on election night.

Votes against the proposal were leading 55% to 45%, more than 2.5 million votes against to more than 2 million votes in favor, with 91% of precincts reporting statewide, election results showed at around 12:45 a.m. early Wednesday.

"This is a historic night for the people of Illinois,” Chair of Vote Yes for Fair Tax Voters John Bouman said. “Voters from across Illinois have shown their support for both tax fairness and funding fairness, and hundreds of thousands of ballots are still outstanding. The outcome won’t be known until every ballot cast is counted—including every vote at the polls today, every early in-person vote and every vote sent by mail. We are fully prepared for that process to continue into the days ahead. This is a time for everyone to focus on ensuring that every ballot cast is counted."

Still, the margin by which “No” votes was ahead led opponents of the measure to declare victory.

"When all the votes are counted, we believe there will be more 'no' votes than 'yes' votes, and that will be a win for small business owners, middle-class families, family farmers, retirees, and large employers,” Lissa Druss, spokeswoman for the Coalition to Stop the Proposed Tax Hike Amendment, said in a statement. “In this election, Illinois voters sent a resounding message that with an $8 billion deficit and two massive tax hikes in the last ten years, we cannot trust Springfield Politicians with another tax hike."

11:24 p.m.: Election Officials in Battleground States Say Presidential Election Results Could Take Days to Tabulate

Election officials in several key states are still working to count ballots in the presidential race between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, and the process could take several days in some locations.

In states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, votes are still being tabulated late Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, with some mail-in and absentee ballots still waiting to be counted in those states.

Other key states, including Georgia and Arizona, remain too close to call, according to NBC News projections.

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