Results are in from the Illinois Green Party’s first ever online primary. With a total of 153 ballots cast, Harvard-educated physician Jill Stein of Massachusetts has won the primary with 71% of the vote. Legendary sitcom actress Roseanne Barr, whose name was not on the official ballot but became an officially recognized candidate by the GPUS after the ILGP’s registration deadline, earned 18% of the vote as a write in. San Diego air quality inspector Kent Mesplay received 5% of the vote. Nearly 5% of the votes were cast as “Undecided” and three unrecognized write-in candidates received less than 1%.
Unlike the taxpayer-funded Republican and Democratic primaries, the Illinois Green Party cost very little and allowed any Illinois resident age 13 years or older to participate. Participants were allowed to join the party and cast their vote at the same time. Caucuses were held throughout the state to serve as a polling place for those without Internet access, and mail-in ballots were available by request.
Dr. Stein, a native of Highland Park, Ill., established a strong campaign presence in her home state. Following her campaign kick-off, Stein made several appearances in the Chicago area and at a mock election at Western Illinois University in Macomb. Her campaign also sent out several e-blasts to supporters during the course of the voting, including an e-mail endorsement from Rich Whitney, a two-time Illinois gubernatorial candidate who is well-respected within the party.
The Barr campaigned was helped by a media splash from her campaign kick-off, which happened at the beginning of the ILGP’s primary voting period. Though still in its early stages, her campaign has already brought in several members who are new to the Illinois Green Party.
“From the standpoint of party building, the primary was very successful,” said Election Administrator Patrick Kelly. “Thanks to the efforts of our candidates to reach voters, were able to grow our membership and by giving any Illinoisan who wanted to participate a chance.”
Playing off Stein’s success in the WIU mock election, the Illinois Green Party will convene it state membership meeting, March 2-4, at WIU in Macomb to select delegates to the Green Party’s Presidential Nominating Convention in Baltimore, Md. in July. If an apportionment plan is approved by the Green Party of the United States, Illinois would be awarded 31 delegates to the national convention who would be pledged accordingly: Stein would receive 22 delegates, Barr 5, Mesplay 2, and 2 would be unbound.
These results are unofficial pending approval of the Illinois Green Party Executive Committee.