Chicago Uses Straw Ban Ballot Measure to Make Sure Citizens Can’t Vote on Term Limits


What could a nonbinding ballot question about the use of plastic straws within Chicago’s corporate limits possibly have to do with the mayoral race? It turns out that it’s just more evidence that political maneuvering, machine politics and cronyism are alive and well in Chicago.

Earlier this summer, it looked like former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn would get enough signatures to place a ballot initiative limiting the Chicago mayor to three terms. That would have prevented current Chicago mayor—and Quinn rival—Rahm Emmanuel from running for a third term in February 2019.

To stop Quinn foiling Emmanuel’s reelection chances, the Chicago City Council voted in June to stack the city ballot with three essentially meaningless advisory questions, including not just whether the city should ban straws, but also whether longtime Chicago homeowners with incomes under $100,000 should get a property tax exemption and whether taxes from marijuana, should it be legalized, be used to fund public schools and mental health services.

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