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1982 Illinois gubernatorial election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1982 Illinois gubernatorial election

← 1978 November 2, 1982 1986 →
Turnout61.58% Increase 7.35 pp
Bio thompson.jpg
Nominee James R. Thompson Adlai Stevenson III
Party Republican Democratic
Running mate George Ryan Grace Mary Stern
Popular vote 1,816,101 1,811,027
Percentage 49.4% 49.3%

Illinois gubernatorial election, 1982.svg
County Results

Thompson:      40-50%      50-60%      60-70%      70-80%

Stevenson:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%

Governor before election

James R. Thompson

Elected Governor

James R. Thompson

Gubernatorial elections were held in Illinois on November 2, 1982. Republican candidate James R. Thompson won a third term in office, defeating Democrat Adlai Stevenson III by a slim margin of about 5,000 votes.

Election information

The election coincided with those for congress and those for other state offices. The election was part of the 1982 Illinois elections.


Turnout in the primaries saw 22.42% in the gubernatorial primaries, with a total of 1,337,581 votes cast, and 20.25% in the lieutenant gubernatorial primary, with 1,208,178 votes cast.[1][2]

Turnout during the general election was 61.58%, with 3,673,707 votes cast.[1][3]

Convictions for fraud

There were "62 indictments and 58 convictions, many involving precinct captains and election officials. The grand jury concluded that 100,000 fraudulent votes had been cast in the city ... Authorities found massive fraud involving vote buying and ballots cast by others in the names of registered voters. In one case, a ballot punched for the Democratic slate had been tabulated 198 times."[4] The case was prosecuted in November 1982 by US Attorney Dan K. Webb.[5][6]

The election result has been questioned. Some Democrats have alleged that fraud might have committed by Republicans in areas outside Chicago to secure Thompson his victory.[5] In 2016, Rudy Giuliani suggested that the gubernatorial results had been fraudulent on the part of Chicago Democrats.[7]

Democratic primary


Adlai Stevenson III, former United States Senator, won the primary for the gubernatorial nomination unopposed.

Democratic gubernatorial primary[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Adlai E. Stevenson 731,041 99.99
Write-in Others 94 0.01
Total votes 731,135 100

Lieutenant Governor

Grace Mary Stern won the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor unopposed.

Democratic lieutenant gubernatorial primary[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Grace Mary Stern 588,942 99.98
Write-in Others 103 0.02
Total votes 589,045 100

Republican primary


Incumbent James R. Thompson defeated challengers John E. Roche and V. A. Kelley.

Republican gubernatorial primary[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican James R. Thompson (incumbent) 507,893 83.75
Republican John E. Roche 54,858 9.05
Republican V. A. Kelley 43,627 7.19
Write-in Others 68 0.01
Total votes 606,446 100

Lieutenant Governor

George Ryan defeated Susan Catania and Donald L. Totten in the lieutenant gubernatorial primary.

Republican lieutenant gubernatorial primary[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican George Ryan 278,544 44.99
Republican Susan Catania 188,220 30.40
Republican Donald L. Totten 152,356 24.61
Write-in Others 13 0.00
Total votes 619,133 100

General election

Before the election, Thompson had been favored by polls and predictions to win by roughly twenty percentage points.[8]

Thompson managed to prevail by a narrow 5,074 vote margin. Thompson won a clear majority of Illinois's 102 counties, but Stevenson won Cook County home of Chicago. Cook County accounts for more than 25% of the states total population. Thompson was most likely able to win narrowly, because he performed well in the Collar (Suburban) counties of Chicago, including, Will, Lake, and DuPage counties. Immediately following the election Stevenson filed a motion with the Illinois Supreme Court for a state paid recount. But his motion for a recount was denied by the panel by just one vote. Shortly after the court's decision Stevenson conceded defeat, and called Thompson to congratulate him on his victory.

1982 gubernatorial election, Illinois[1][3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican James R. Thompson (incumbent)/ George E. Ryan 1,816,101 49.44
Democratic Adlai Stevenson III/ Grace Mary Stern 1,811,027 49.30
Libertarian Bea Armstrong/ David L. Kelley 24,417 0.66
Taxpayers John E. Roche/ Melvin "Mel" Jones 22,001 0.60
N/A write-ins 161 0.00 n-a
Majority 5,074 0.14
Turnout 3,673,707 61.58
Republican hold Swing


  1. ^ a b c "OFFICIAL VOTE Cast at the GENERAL ELECTION NOVEMBER 6, 1984" (PDF). Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e "OFFICIAL VOTE Cast at the GENERAL PRIMARY ELECTION MARCH 16, 1982" (PDF). Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  3. ^ a b "OFFICIAL VOTE Cast at the GENERAL ELECTION NOVEMBER 2, 1982" (PDF). Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b "Election fraud Chicago style: Illinois' decades-old notoriety for election corruption is legendary". Salon. 14 February 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Official: Chicago legacy of voter fraud has been cleaned up". 19 October 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  8. ^ "Stevenson Looking Forward to a Recount in Illinois". The New York Times. 21 November 1982. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
This page was last edited on 17 January 2021, at 08:58
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