Statement Regarding the Chicago Board of Elections Eliminating 73 Polling Places Citing an "Emergency"
As Chairman of the Chicago Republican Party, I write to state that we informed the Circuit Court (despite short notice of the first “emergency” hearing) that the list of 73 precincts is peculiar, at best.
To make it short, 45 of the 73 precincts come from just six North Side wards: 32nd, (West Lakeview, Roscoe Village, Bucktown and Logan Square), 40th (a collection of neighborhoods west of Edgewater just below Rogers Park), 42nd (Loop down to Jackson, and some West Loop out to Presidential Towers and River North), 43rd (Lincoln Park), 44th (Lakeview and Wrigleyville) and 45th (Jefferson Park, Portage Park, Old Irving Park).
Further, in the 2020 State's Attorney race, Republican Pat O'Brien won outright in 39% of the 73 wards, and overall did far better than his city totals in the 73 wards.
In the Rauner-Ives Republican primary of 2018, Rauner received large majorities in these precincts against Jeanne Ives, and it is likely that Richard Irvin will fare just as well against more conservative opponents.
The Chicago Board has a pattern of "emergency" petitions filed so late in the process that the Circuit Court has very little choice, as in this matter.
No definitive evidence of ulterior political motives surfaced in the mere days given to the GOP for investigation of the Petition, and accordingly there are no allegations to be made.
The Petition was approved. Nevertheless, the matter remains quite problematic in the view of the Chicago and Cook County GOP.