Skokie voters passed referendums Tuesday that will significantly reshape the village’s elections, according to unofficial results.

A package of three binding referendums was advanced by the Skokie Alliance for Electoral Reform, a ballot initiative committee formed in December 2021.

Skokie Village Hall Credit: Village of Skokie

Referendums to change Skokie’s municipal elections for mayor, clerk and village trustees by making the elections nonpartisan and staggering terms every two years have wide leads in unofficial vote tallies.

A third measure, which would switch the village to a hybrid system of district and at-large trustees, also was leading as of Wednesday morning, but by a more narrow margin.

Unofficial results show that with all 38 of Skokie’s precincts reporting, the nonpartisan and staggered terms measures have around 60% yes votes, while the hybrid system measure has 53% yes votes. Vote totals will continue to adjust in the coming days as mail-in ballots are counted.

Kimberly Polka, a member of the alliance’s steering committee, said Tuesday night that the results were better than the group had expected, saying supporters feel it’s an “uncontestable margin.”

“We are just a group of Skokie neighbors, most of who did not know each other a year ago, and the only thing we have in common was realizing that there was not democracy in Skokie,” Polka said. “We banded together to change that, and people put in some really long hours. I mean, it’s it’s amazing. We were at every poll today.”

If the hybrid measure wins, Village Manager John Lockerby will be tasked with drawing four geographic districts for the new electoral system. If final vote tallies confirm the referendums passed, all three changes would be used in the spring 2025 consolidated elections.

Alex Harrison

Alex Harrison joins the RoundTable for the summer in between his undergraduate and graduate studies at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

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  1. Wonderful news for our tiny corner of the world, and for democracy itself. Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard against the well-funded and highly offensive misinformation campaign launched by the Skokie Caucus Party. I’ve supported Mayor Van Dusen and his party for close to 25 years as a Skokie resident, but the ugly, “neighbor vs. neighbor” hostility they unleashed in this campaign was downright embarrassing. In a national climate of dangerous political divisions, it was an egregiously bad decision on their part. The mayor and his Board owe the citizens of Skokie a personal apology.