Chicago Board of Election pause early voting to remove candidate following court order

Early voting for the March 19 primary election has closed temporarily while officials remove a judicial candidate’s name from ballots to comply with a court order, election officials said Friday.

Early voting had opened Thursday, but a day later, a three-judge panel upheld rulings from both a lower court and the Cook County Officers Electoral Board to remove Ashonta Rice from the ballot, according to a court order.

A statement from the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners said early voting would close so officials could take Rice off the ballot and reprogram digital voting machines.

Rice was running to fill a vacant Cook County judgeship, according to the Board of Election Commissioners.

The board announcement did not say when early voting would resume, only stating that early voting sites in the Loop and board offices would reopen as quickly as possible.

Democratic mail-in ballots have not yet gone out to voters and “will be mailed as soon as possible,” the board statement said.

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