By JERRY NOWICKI
Capitol News Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Elections certified its election results Monday, putting the final stamp on another Democratic sweep of statewide offices.
The board reported that 4,142,642 out of 8,115,751 registered voters cast ballots in the election, a turnout of roughly 51 percent. That’s down from a turnout of more than 57 percent in 2018, but up from a 49 percent turnout in 2014, according to ISBE.
The final margin of victory for Gov. JB Pritzker over Republican challenger state Sen. Darren Bailey was a resounding one, about 12.54 percentage points. Pritzker notched more than 2.25 million votes to Bailey’s 1.74 million.
The lead vote-getter for Democrats was Comptroller Susana Mendoza in her third successful statewide election. Her 2.33 million votes to nearly 1.68 million votes for Republican candidate Shannon Teresi represented a win of just over 16 percentage points, down from her near 23-point victory total in 2018.
She assumes the mantle of most successful statewide Democrat that has for over two decades been claimed by Secretary of State Jesse White. The 88-year-old who has held that office since 1998 didn’t run again this year, paving the way for Democrat Alexi Giannoulias to win a contentious Democratic primary.
Giannoulias, the former state treasurer, received about 2.2 million votes to just under 1.8 million for state Rep. Dan Brady, of Bloomington, the Republican nominee. Last week, Giannoulias and Brady announced that the vanquished Republican would join the winner’s transition team. The margin of victory was about 10.69 percentage points.
“I am honored that Secretary-elect Giannoulias is rising above party politics by drawing on that experience to make the office the best that it can be,” Brady said in a Nov. 30 statement. “I may be leaving elected office in a few short weeks, but I have always desired to help the people of Illinois in any way that I can. I appreciate this opportunity to use my unique knowledge to help enhance a statewide office that affects the lives of more Illinoisans on a daily basis than any other.”
Attorney General Kwame Raoul posted similar margins to Pritzker and Giannoulias in earning a second term, besting Republican Thomas DeVore 54.35 percent to 43.45 percent. It’s a slightly closer margin than his 55-43 triumph in 2018. Raoul amassed 2.2 million votes compared to DeVore’s near 1.8 million. His margin of victory was 10.9 percent.
State Treasurer Michael Frerichs earned a third term, beating Republican Rep. Tom Demmer, of Dixon, 54.29 percent to 43.48 percent. The 10.81 percentage point margin was down from about 19 percent in 2018, but well above Frerichs’ 2014 performance in which he won by fewer than 10,000 votes.
U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, meanwhile, put up margins nearly identical to Mendoza, besting Republican Kathy Salvi 2.3 million to 1.7 million, for a margin just under 16 percentage points.
An amendment to the state’s constitution passed with 53.42 percent of the ballots cast in the election. The amendment guarantees workers a right to unionize in Illinois. It had two paths to passage, receiving majority approval from the total ballots cast, or receiving 60 percent approval from those voting on the question.
The amendment was approved by 2.2 million of the 4.1 million voters to cast a ballot in the election. It received 58.72 percent approval from those voting on the question.
Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide, as well as hundreds of radio and TV stations. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.