Spoiler alert: It's not Winnebago, Boone, and/or Ogle counties that are looking to leave the state of Illinois, although at one time Winnebago County, Jo Daviess County, Stephenson County, and Boone County all tried to remove themselves from the master list of Illinois counties.

Second spoiler alert: The effort (around 1840) by Winnebago, Boone, Stephenson, and Jo Daviess to dump Illinois failed, but what will happen with the latest three Illinois counties currently exploring secession from our state remains to be seen.

USA states on map: Illinois
Giant push-pin kills scores of Peoria area residents. (Getty Images)

Something Called A "Separation Referendum" Was On Tuesday's Ballot In Brown And Hardin Counties, Along With A Section Of Madison County

Well, at least this ballot initiative is clear and honest in its description, unlike several bills and programs that get passed even if they bear little resemblance to their titles.

The bottom-line on these separation referendums is to allow county boards in those counties to explore their options for leaving our state because of the influence Chicago and Cook County have on the running of the entire state.

Drawing of american state of Illinois on chalkboard
Image drawn with chalk purchased in Chicago, on a Chicago-area chalkboard. (Getty Images)

One Illinois County In Particular Is Really Into The Idea Of Leaving Illinois

And that would be Brown County, a smaller county just a bit east of Quincy, where they voted big-time for the separation referendum, according to a piece at NBCChicago.com:

“Shall the board of Brown County correspond with the boards of the other counties of Illinois outside of Cook County about the possibility of separating from Cook County to form a new state, and to seek admission to the union as such, subject to the approval of the people,” the question read.

With all 14 precincts reporting in Brown County, 1,444 votes were cast in favor of the question, representing 74% of the votes cast on that specific question. 441 votes were opposed to such a meeting.

Large and detailed map of Brown county in Illinois, USA.
Getty Images

The measure also passed in our state's smallest county, Hardin County, while almost 75% of voters in northeastern Madison County said they were in favor of it, too. And they're not alone, because since 2020 twenty-three other Illinois counties have said that they want out, too.


So far, voters have passed referendums supporting separation from Chicago in 23 counties, mostly in southeastern Illinois. Those counties are: Bond, Christian, Clark, Clay, Crawford, Cumberland, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper, Hancock, Jefferson, Johnson, Lawrence, Marion, Massac, Moultrie, Pope, Richland, Shelby, Wabash, Wayne and Whiteside.

LOOK: Here are the 25 best places to live in Illinois

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Illinois using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from realtor.com.

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

20 Most Expensive Homes For Sale in Illinois Right Now

More From WROK 1440 AM / 96.1 FM