2022 Illinois Midterm Election Results: Illinois Supreme Court
Results will begin to display after polls close Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m.
Stay with FOX 32 Chicago on Tuesday night for live Illinois Supreme Court results and the latest updates from the 2022 Midterm Election campaign trail.
CHICAGO - Democrats held on to their majority on the Illinois Supreme Court Tuesday night as Judge Elizabeth Rochford declared victory in one of two vacant seats up for grabs.
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Rochford thanked her supporters in the 2nd District about 10:30 p.m. after her Republican opponent, Mark Curran, called to concede in the newly drawn suburban 2nd District.
"I’m so proud of what we accomplished, we’re just getting started," Rochford told a cheering crowd.
With about 95% of precincts counted, Rochford was up 54% to 46% over the former Lake County sheriff who was seeking his first-ever judicial office in a district covering the northwestern and western suburbs.
Curran later confirmed the call, saying he thanked her for a good race. "I’ve known her a long time. She’s a good lady," he said.
The newly redrawn 2nd District includes the counties of Lake, Kane, McHenry, Kendall and DeKalb.
Republicans haven't had a majority in the state's court since 1969. With Democratic super-majorities controlling both the Illinois House and Senate, as well as the governor's office, Republicans argued the state Supreme Court could have provided valuable balance on issues such as partisan redistricting. They also protested billionaire JB Pritzker donating hundreds of thousands of dollars Monday night to the Democratic candidates.
Republicans also argue GOP justices would be more skeptical of the controversial SAFE-T Act, currently being challenged by dozens of prosecutors in a pending lawsuit.
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Rochford has indicated her support for abortion rights, and wrote on her Facebook page in June that she’s "endorsed by the Illinois leaders who wrote some of the strongest laws in our nation on women’s rights." Curran told the Sun-Times he’s "pro-life."
While Rochford is rated "highly recommended" by the Illinois Bar Association, Curran — who’s never been a judge — was rated "not recommended."
Rochford has been a Lake County judge since 2012 and currently handles guardianship cases in probate court. She started as a Cook County assistant state’s attorney, moved to private practice, then spent 23 years as commissioner of the Illinois Court of Claims and a judge for the past nine.
In the western and southwestern suburban 3rd District, Appellate Justice Mary Kay O’Brien held a scant 51%-49% lead over incumbent Republican Justice Michael J. Burke, with 95% of precincts counted. The third includes the counties of DuPage, Will, Kankakee, Grundy and three others downstate.
The court’s boundaries also had been redrawn for the first time in 58 years. But while Democrats mapped out the lines, they couldn’t guarantee wins. Millions of dollars were poured into these races, yet the court’s balance seemed, early on, bound for the same split.
What to expect on election night
Polls close at 7 p.m. local time.
HOW ILLINOIS VOTES
Illinois voters are increasingly casting their ballots before Election Day, either by mail or in person at voting centers. During the pandemic in 2020, two-thirds of Illinois voters voted either by mail or early, but a third of voters already had made the switch away from in-person election-day voting in the two previous elections.
While most Illinois counties are strongly Republican, election results are dominated by overwhelmingly Democratic Chicago, the strongly Democratic Cook County suburbs and the more middle-of-the-road "collar counties" surrounding Chicago. More than a quarter of the electorate lives in Chicago and Cook County alone, making those the counties to watch in statewide races.
AP will tabulate votes in 150 races, including one for U.S. Senate, 17 for U.S. House, as well as governor, four other statewide offices and a statewide ballot measure. In the 2020 presidential election, the first votes were reported at 8:09 p.m. local time and the state reached 90% of the vote counted in the evening of the day after election day.
AP does not make projections or name apparent or likely winners. Only when AP is fully confident a race has been won – defined most simply as the moment a trailing candidate no longer has a path to victory – will we make a call. Should a candidate declare victory – or offer a concession – before AP calls a race, we will cover newsworthy developments in our reporting. In doing so, we will make clear that AP has not yet declared a winner and explain the reason why we believe the race is too early or too close to call. The AP may call a statewide or U.S. House race in which the margin between the top two candidates is 0.5% or less, if we determine the lead is too large for a recount to change the outcome.
The AP will not call down-ballot races on election night if the margin between the top two candidates is less than 2%. AP will revisit those races later in the week to confirm there aren’t enough outstanding votes left to count that could change the outcome.
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW?
Q: WHAT’S CHANGED SINCE THE PANDEMIC ELECTION OF 2020?
A: Illinois has taken one more step to make it easier to vote by mail, giving voters the option to automatically receive a mail ballot in future elections.
Q: WHAT DO TURNOUT AND ADVANCE VOTE LOOK LIKE?
A: More than 6 million Illinoisans voted in the 2020 presidential election, and 4.6 million turned out for the governor’s election in 2018. Turnout is typically lower in non-presidential years such as this year.
Q: HOW LONG DOES COUNTING USUALLY TAKE?
A: While Illinois historically has counted most of its ballots on election night, the boom in mail and early voting meant more than 13% of Illinois votes were counted after election day in 2020. This means winners may not be known in close races until the days after the election.
Q: WHAT HAPPENS AFTER TUESDAY?
A: Illinois does not have an automatic or mandatory recount law. Candidates may seek – and pay for – a recount if the losing candidate received 95% of the vote of the winner. Recount results are for discovery purposes – to be used in a potential legal action.
The Associated Press, the Sun-Times Media Wire and the FOX 32 Digital Staff contributed to this report.