Watch Above: With the primary less than a week away, many Illinois voters still have questions. Here are some answers — direct from the experts themselves.
When is the Illinois Primary?
Because of coronavirus concerns, hours have been extended at early voting sites across Chicago. They will be open: Friday, March 13 (9 am – 7 pm), March 14 (9 am – 6 pm), March 15 (10 am – 5 pm and March 16 (9 am – 5 pm). More information is available online.
The primary will include voting for the Democratic presidential primary, the race for Cook County State’s attorney, the Republican primary for U.S. Senate and the Democratic primary for Illinois Supreme Court, among others.
How do I register to vote?
Voter registration closed in February, but those looking to register may utilize the state’s grace period, according to the Cook County Clerk’s Office.
Lasting now through election day, residents must bring two forms of identification, one with a current address, to your polling place for same-day voting. You can register to vote at all early voting sites.
What do I need to vote?
A government-issued I.D. is required for voting if you registered to vote during the aforementioned grace period, or if you are a new voter who registered by mail and have not previously supplied an ID, according to the Better Government Association.
Acceptable forms of identification include a driver’s license or state ID, credit or debit card or a passport or military ID, among others.
Do I have to be registered with a political party to vote in the primary?
No! Illinois holds an open primary, meaning that you do not need to be registered with a specific party when you go vote, according to the Better Government Association.
When you show up to your polling location, however, you will need to tell your poll worker which party’s ballot you would like. Choose carefully, because you can only pick one.
How do I vote by mail?
If you’re already registered to vote, you have until March 12 to request to vote by mail, according to the Better Government Association.
You can make the request via your local election authority’s website.
Once you’ve completed your application and received your ballot, mailed ballots must be postmarked no later than election day and they have to be received within 14 days of the election.
What time do polls open?
Polls open 6 a.m. across the state on March 17 and will stay open through 7 p.m., according to Ballotpedia.
How does the presidential election factor into all of this?
If you’ve been waiting to see who will be the Democratic nominee for the presidential race, prepare to keep on waiting.
The nominee will be selected by delegates in July at the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, according to Ballotpedia.
In order to win the nomination, the candidate must secure a majority vote of 1,991 delegates.
Former Vice President Joe Biden is currently leading the delegate race, with a reported 637 pledged delegates, according to Ballotpedia.