Gay Vote: Election could have significant impact on LGBT issues

Tue. November 8, 2016 6:05 AM by News Staff

Election Day: Voting resources and information

Chicago, IL - The campaign is over and it's time for the voters to have their say as people all over the United States head to the polls on Election Day.

According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a growing and highly engaged bloc of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals will play a pivotal role in the presidential, Senate and other down ballot races on Nov. 8.

LGBT voters were a crucial piece of the puzzle for President Obama's victory and this year there are an estimated 9.4 million LGBT voters in the United States.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton enjoys a wide lead over Republican Donald Trump in support from LGBT individuals, an Oct. 28 Gallup polling analysis showed.

Chelsea Clinton spoke to LGBT voters in the key swing state of North Carolina on Saturday.

"In my heart, this is the most consequential election of my lifetime," she told a crowd of more than 200 people, according to the Washington Blade.

Clinton has received the endorsement of HRC and a majority of the LGBT newspapers including Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco), Washington Blade, Philadelphia Gay News, Dallas Voice, Windy City Times (Chicago), Between the Lines (Detroit), Bay Windows (Boston), Georgia Voice, SFGN (Ft. Lauderdale), Watermark (Orlando and Tampa Bay), Gay City News (New York), and The Pride LA.

The 31-year-old Windy City Times has endorsed just once presidential candidate in 16 years. 

In October, The Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) refused to endorse Trump, citing concern over who he was surrounding himself with, as well as his support of a discriminatory piece of legislation.

LCR also criticized the Republican Party platform for containing language opposing same-sex marriage, preventing trans people from using the bathrooms matching their gender identity, and supporting conversion therapy.

Despite support from the national organization, seven local LCR chapters in Cleveland, Los Angeles, Miami, Texas, Georgia, Colorado and Orange County, California have endorsed Trump for president.

In Illinois, Sen. Mark Kirk, the Republican incumbent, is running against congresswoman Tammy Duckworth. Kirk was endorsed by HRC early in the campaign, but the influential LGBT organization dropped its endorsement after he questioned Duckworth's heritage in a debate last month. 

Polls in Illinois will be open on Tuesday from 6 a.m. – 7 p.m. with the heaviest period of voting occurring between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Anyone in line by the closing time of 7 p.m. will be allowed to vote. Find your poll online.

For a complete breakdown of races important to the LGBT community, check the Windy City Times General Election Guide (pdf). 

Equality Illinois PAC has also composed its list of endorsed pro-LGBT candidates.