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This week Illinoisans chose statewide officials, members of Congress and the members of the 101st General Assembly. Here are a few facts which reflect Tuesday’s place in Illinois history.

Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker will be the 43rd chief executive of the state of Illinois. He will be the 21st Democrat to become Governor in Illinois’ history, and the first since Governor Pat Quinn was picked in 2010. Pritzker’s victory marks the first time that a challenger has defeated an incumbent in two consecutive general elections since 1968-1972 when Richard Ogilvie defeated incumbent Samuel Shapiro, only to fall four years later to Dan Walker (Walker would lose four years after that, but in a primary).
State revenue up in October. The monthly report from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA) monitors State cash flow and economic trends. The CGFA numbers depict continued healthy revenue numbers in October 2018. Personal income tax receipts during the month were up by $145 million from October 2017, an increase of 9.9%. Sales tax receipts increased by $71 million during the same time-span, a year-over-year increase of 10.7%. The State’s sales tax numbers reflect receipts from an increasing proportion of retail sales made online to Illinois addresses. Enforcement of Illinois sales taxes on online sales is now permissible under nationwide sales tax law. The sales tax law change was approved by the Supreme Court earlier this year in its “South Dakota v. Wayfair” sales tax decision. The positive numbers in Illinois’ two largest general revenue cash flow streams signaled a continued atmosphere of prosperity and low unemployment in many regions of the state. 
Election Day crowd at Springfield Marine Bank in 1966.
Photo from the Illinois Digital Archives.
Next Tuesday is Election Day. It will be the 52nd time that Illinois voters have gone to the polls to choose a governor. While we won’t relive the many colorful stories of 200 years of Illinois politicians, here are some facts about elections in our state from 200 years of Illinois history.

Two hundred years ago in October 1818, Illinois held its first statewide election. It was to put in place a government for when statehood became official a few weeks later. Shadrach Bond was chosen as the first Governor and Pierre Menard as the first Lieutenant Governor. While that first election was held in the fall, an early 20th-century Illinois Blue Book reports that for a time in the 1800s, gubernatorial elections were held as early as the first Monday in August.
State Board of Education approves recommendations to expand and diversify highly qualified teacher workforce. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has approved specific recommendations to expand and diversify the state’s highly qualified teacher workforce. The recommendations remove barriers and create new avenues of entry into the profession, while maintaining high standards.
Cover from Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds
Vinyl LP released in 1968
On October 30, 1938, an invading army from Mars landed in the marshlands of northern New Jersey. The invaders assembled invincible war machines, and proceeded to lay waste to all the human forces which tried to stop them. They moved inexorably toward New York City, with panicked millions desperately trying to flee their deadly heat rays. A radio reporter, choking on Martian poison gas, used his last breath to warn listeners of reports of Martians landing in Chicago and St. Louis.

Or so you might have been led to believe if you had your radio tuned to CBS.

Illinois unemployment rate matches record low. The 4.1% unemployment figure reported by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) matches the lowest number ever posted for this figure, a widely-cited index of economic health and activity in Illinois. Preliminary data, which is subject to revision as more numbers come in, indicates that nonfarm payroll total employment increased in the Land of Lincoln by 2,800 jobs in September as opposed to August 2018. The same figure, when counted on a year-to-year basis (September 2017 to September 2018) showed a net gain of more than 50,000 nonfarm payroll jobs.
The Illinois Centennial Banner.
Photo from the Illinois Digital Archives
As the 100th anniversary of Illinois’ statehood neared, celebrations were being held throughout the state. All of this was going on against the backdrop of World War I, which America had entered the year before.

What had initially been planned as a huge celebration had very nearly been cancelled until Governor Frank Lowden issued a proclamation which called on Illinoisans to strengthen themselves against the current struggle by recalling the great challenges of the past. The state that had done so much to bring about victory in the Civil War would now celebrate its past while facing the trial of the First World War.