Illinois Primary 2018: Election results rolling in; Preckwinkle, Quigley, Villivalam win-ABC News

County Board President Toni Preckwinkle at the announcement of the MacArthur Foundation grant for the county justice system. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle claimed victory in her primary challenge against former alderman Bob Fioretti as he called her to concede the race.

Calling herself a reformer, Toni Preckwinkle, has won a third term as Cook County Board President.

In his concession speech, Fioretti thanked his wife and his supporters in the city and suburbs and called it “a hard loss.”

The 70-year-old former school teacher and former 4th Ward alderman faces opposition from former alderman and unsuccessful mayoral candidate Bob Fioretti.

After suffering sinking approval ratings, worker layoffs, and a $200 million dollar budget shortfall — following the quick repeal of the widely reviled “soda tax,” Preckwinkle got a big boost with an endorsement from former President Barack Obama.

As head of the county’s healthcare system, Preckwinkle hopes to protect the changes she made there, while pushing for further reforms in the criminal justice system through the reduction of the inmate population.

Illinois Senate 8th District – Democratic Primary

Ram Villivalam defeated incumbent Ira Silverstein in the 8th District of the Illinois House with 13,200 votes to 7,419 votes while Caroline McAteer-Fournier had 3,529 votes and David Zulkey had 1,350 votes with 91.5 percent of precincts reporting.

Chicago Democratic state Sen. Ira Silverstein was ousted after a 20-year career. A victims-rights advocate accused Silverstein of sexual harassment for sending inappropriate messages while they worked on legislation. The legislative inspector general declared there was no sexual harassment but that Silverstein had acted unprofessionally. He lost handily to Ram Villivalam, a union activist.

U.S. House 5th District – Democratic Primary

Democratic incumbent 5th District U.S. House Rep. Mike Quigley retained his position with 60,785 votes with 92.8 percent of precincts reporting. His closest challenger, Sameena Mustafa, had 23,351 votes.

Quigley will face Republican challenger Tom Hanson in November.

WATCH: Workers locked out of Hyde Park polling place


The polls are now open across the state for the Illinois primary, but not without a few hiccups Tuesday morning.

The polls were open across the state for the Illinois primary, but not without a few hiccups Tuesday morning.

At Kozminski Community Academy in the 5400-block of South Ingleside Avenue, poll workers were locked out and in the cold. At about 6 a.m., janitorial staff came by and opened the doors.

Many of the poll workers were very upset at being out in the cold for about an hour.

“Very disrespectful. Not only is it disrespectful, it is inconsiderate. What about the voters? They can’t vote. Some of those people have to be at work at 6 o’clock,” said poll worker Willietta Brandon.

They were able to get inside the school just after 6 a.m. when polls opened statewide, scrambling to set up for voters with about a 30 minute delay.

“When I come at 6 o’clock in the morning so I can vote before work, I expect the delay not to be 30 minutes before I even start filling out any paperwork,” said voter Rachel Rubin.

Polls across the state remained open until 7 p.m.

The tightest races in the 2018 Illinois primary may be in the Democratic and Republican gubernatorial races. According to recent polls there are still 23 percent undecided on the Republican side and 16 percent on the Democratic side.

Meanwhile, many voters have already cast their ballot. Early voting is proving to be increasingly popular in Chicago, with the latest data from the city showing nearly 110,000 ballots cast prior to Election Day. That’s roughly triple the amount from 2014’s midterm primary.

“If that’s any indication, I think we’re going to have a much better turnout today. We’re just hoping that those under 45 will come out and vote. That is the group that is participating the least at this time,” said Chicago Board of Elections Chairwoman Marisel Hernandez.

Voters came to the polls for different reasons.

“I wanna see change. I’m tired of all the lying here and lying there. I need somebody that’s gonna do what they say they’re gonna do,” said voter Naomi Smith.

“Locally, I think it’s important that we figure out how we can finance the city and county and make sure we continue services for those that need them the most,” said voter Kyle Johnicker.

“Also with the soda tax, I thought that was government overreach,” said voter Edward Ellis.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office monitored state and local primary elections in Chicago and surrounding suburbs and responded to complaints as needed to combat election fraud.

WATCH: Turnout low among young voters


It doesn’t look like the Chicago area will see a record breaking turnout at the polls – especially among young and first-time voters aged 18 to 24.

Despite what appeared to be a steady stream of voters, it didn’t look like the Chicago area saw a record breaking turnout at the polls – especially among young and first-time voters aged 18 to 24.

“Less than 3 percent of those mentioned have actually voted today. When you look at the number of 18 to 45, it’s at 27 percent. The vast majority of people who are voting are 45 and older,” said Marisel Hernandez, chairwoman of the Chicago Board of Elections.

Out of the approximately 1.5 million voters in the city of Chicago, election officials said that just over 280,000 have cast ballots as of Tuesday afternoon. About half were cast during early voting.

ABC7 political analyst Laura Washington says typically millennials don’t vote in primaries. Low voter turnout among that group could impact races where challengers are looking to unseat incumbents or party favorites.

“Young people think progressively. Front runners aren’t perceived that way by young people. That’s going to give them the advantage if young people don’t show up,” Washington said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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