Revall Burke, 60, a city employee who also served as an election judge for Chicago’s 17th Ward, lost his life due to COVID-19 a mere 15 days after working at a South Side polling place during the Illinois primary elections on March 17.
Burke, who worked as a city parking enforcement aide, says final goodbye on April 1, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. He was the first known city employee to succumb to the virus that has been rampaging across the United States and across the globe.
As the Sun-Times notes, when news broke that Burke also served as an election judge, the debate about whether Illinois should have gone through with its primary elections once again resurfaced.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker defended his decision during his daily news briefing, noting that he had no authority to proceed otherwise per Illinois Constitution and emphasizing that the election was held four days before he issued a stay-at-home order. Illinois was the second state in the U.S. to do so.
He also pointed out that he encouraged voters to either vote early or vote by mail.
“We were encouraging people not to go to the polls if they could avoid going to the polls, and indeed I think that’s exactly the same, that we need to do even more so when we get to the general election,” the governor said.
This article was originally published on essence.com