Election Day 2022: Illinois Supreme Court race could impact abortion, gun rights

What's driving voters this election?

ByBlanca Rios WLS logo
Sunday, October 16, 2022
Our Chicago Part 1: IL Supreme Court race could impact abortion, gun rights
The Illinois Supreme Court election could impact issues like abortion and gun rights. Early voting has already started.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- There's reason to get through the bottom of the ballot this Nov. 8 and pay close attention to the race for Illinois Supreme Court.

The Illinois Supreme Court is currently made up of four Democrats and three Republicans.

RELATED: Illinois Supreme Court candidates 2022 battle for 2 open seats in November election

Running in the 2nd District race is Republican and former Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran. He faces Democratic Lake County Judge Elizabeth Rochford. That seat represents Kane, Lake, McHenry, DeKalb and Kendall counties.

In the 3rd district, incumbent state Supreme Court Justice Michael Burke, also a Republican, faces off against Appellate Justice Mary Kay O'Brien. That district includes DuPage, Will, Bureau, Grundy, Iroquois, Kankakee and LaSalle counties.

Our Chicago Part 2

Voters in most Illinois counties will want to make their way to the bottom of the ballot this Nov. 8.

Republicans last held control of the state's highest court in 1969. Any potential shift could impact major social issues like abortion and gun rights.

Political Science Professor Constance Mixon is Director of the Urban Studies Program at Elmhurst University.

"If the partisan make up of the court changes, we might get different interpretations of the law of the state constitution and different decisions," said Mixon. "Beyond abortion and guns, a new partisan make up of the Illinois Supreme Court could have broad reaching impact on numerous issues like unions, public pensions, climate change, redistricting the list goes on."

What's motivating voters?

Illinois residents are already exercising their right to vote in the midterm election.

Some people are waiting to cast their ballot on election day, which is Nov. 8 this year. But, others have already made up their minds and either voted early by mail or in person.

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Early voting numbers from the State Board of Elections suggests over 140,000 people have already voted.

In the last midterm election in 2018, over a million people voted early.

SEE ALSO: IL state comptroller candidates Susana Mendoza, Shannon Teresi make their pitch ahead of midterms

What will get voters to the polls this election really depends, according to ABC7 Political Analyst Laura Washington.

"It depends on who has the most fire in their belly. Democrats think that their voters will because the issues that they're pushing are more emotional," said Washington. "But the Republicans, they're looking at the tough issues that people really care about, bottom-line issues like the economy, inflation gas prices, those kinds of things."

Washington said she's also watching the Illinois Supreme Court race, which she said is unfortunately at the bottom of the ballot.

"But because of all the attention we're seeing on that race this time around, the voters will be more informed when they make their decision."