Welcome to campaign season.
Lest anyone think the conclusion of primary election voting today means a reprieve from the barrage of yard signs and other advertising, be reminded that anyone who thought they might emerge victorious tonight stood ready with a strategy for the 19 weeks before the general election.
Be ready to hear much more about the Supreme Court, attorney general and secretary of state races over the summer, as well as statewide referenda like Amendment 1, though Ken Griffin’s announced departure of Illinois for Florida may alter historical Republican fundraising trends. Not that his leaving results in a campaign contribution vacuum, but this might be a cycle where smaller amount donors have an increased voice, or at least the influence is spread among a larger cohort of the fabulously wealthy.
Those who missed out on the primary but want to participate in November can begin the voter registration process from the convenience of home as soon as Thursday, which is when the State Board of Elections said the online registration system will reopen. For any specific questions, it’s always best to contact your local election authority.
(Quick break for education: Why don’t we just say check with the county clerk? Because the clerk is only the election authority in 101 of the state’s 102 counties. Peoria County has a county election commission, and there are six municipal commissions – in Bloomington, Chicago, Danville, East St. Louis, Galesburg and Rockford.)
As observed at the conclusion of any voting cycle, the business of running the state has far more impact on readers’ lives than the political machinations of election season, but it’s important to understand how campaign considerations can affect legislation and other Springfield decisions. With respect for understandable fatigue – Darren Bailey started addressing speculation about his gubernatorial bid in July 2020 – we’ll set aside some space here and there to consider how the next ballot shapes up and what that might mean for the average voter.
It’s always campaign season — in Illinois and everywhere else.
ON THIS DAY: June 28 is the 100th birthday of Hans Frauenfelder, the Swiss-born physicist who came to the U.S. in 1952 to begin a 40-year tenure at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The school granted him emeritus status as professor of physics, chemistry and biophysics in 1995, the same year he was promoted from staff member to director of the Center for Nonlinear Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Frauenfelder’s chief contribution to his field was the 1951 discovery of perturbed angular correction of nuclear radiation. His research and writing are not for novices, but on his centennial he remains an industry titan who for decades enhanced prestige at Illinois’ flagship university.