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There wasn't supposed to be an election for a statewide constitutional officer this year.  But Democrats essentially forced one, following the sudden death of Republican Judy Baar Topinka after she'd won the 2014 election for comptroller, but before she'd been inaugurated. 

The race has been expensive and competitive, and it could show who's winning the war of public opinion between Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Who knows what would have happened had Democrats held onto the governor's office in 2014?

Flickr user Pictures of Money / "Money" (CC BY 2.0)

Gov. Bruce Rauner is putting tens of millions of dollars of his personal wealth into campaigns to swing some Illinois General Assembly seats to the Republican side, and Democrats are tapping their big donors -- unions and attorneys -- to match.

A lot of the money is going into small races that you normally wouldn’t hear a lot about.

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk says it's "disappointing" two groups have withdrawn endorsements. He's trying to fight off a challenge from Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth.

Kirk was a rare Republican to receive recommendations from the Human Rights Campaign, which supports gay rights, and a gun control group led by former congresswoman Gabby Giffords. 

Both pulled their endorsements after Kirk made a wisecrack minimizing the Duckworth family legacy of military service; many critics immediately condemned it as racist. 

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

Taking a selfie at a polling place could be illegal in several states – including Illinois and Wisconsin.

That reminder comes after pop star Justin Timberlake took a selfie at a voting booth in Tennessee.

DeKalb County Clerk Doug Johnson says about 8,000 early votes have been tallied in DeKalb County so far. He says he wants to encourage voter enthusiasm in this election and not scare people, but he says voters must be careful of where they take their post-vote selfies.

More than 4,000 people have voted already in Winnebago County, according to County Clerk Margie Mullins. She says it’s been the highest turnout in all the years of early voting.

And Boone County has ballots from more than 2,100 early voters -- not including ballots that have been mailed out. 

Boone County Clerk and Recorder Mary Steurer says she hopes more people who may be thinking about voting early will beat the potential Election Day crowds.

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