History

Chicago is the most-studied city in the United States and the enduring narratives of Chicago machine politics shape the way we understand urban politics all around the country.  However, these stories of Chicago politics are dominated by images of Richard J. Daley and notions of a unified Democratic party machine orchestrated from City Hall.

The Chicago Elections Project broadens the view of politics to the whole city, neighborhood by neighborhood and precinct by precinct, throughout all 50 wards.  The relationships between aldermen, ward committeemen, precinct captains, and elected officials at the state and federal levels required engagement with voters on every block.

The CEP will consider these general and primary election returns together as a complete archival collection for the first time.  CEP’s interpretation of this unique data set promises to establish a model for data-driven storytelling, helping reinvigorate and reinterpret urban political history in cities around the country.