Every election season begins with candidates filing with the proper election authorities, either the state board of elections or their local county clerk. The last day to that was March 14, meaning that races for elected positions and government offices in the June primary are set.
"Every election matters," said Sangamon County Clerk Don Gray, who oversees county elections. "There’s a range of important offices on the ballot."
Primary voters will help determine which candidates are on the Nov. 8 general election ballot at all levels of government, among them Congress, Illinois governor, state representatives, and county offices.
What’s the date of the 2022 Illinois primary elections?
The primary election will be on June 28.
Illinois primary elections typically happen on the third Tuesday of March. This year, the election was moved back a few months to accommodate the decennial redistricting process, where lawmakers redraw legislative and judicial districts.
"The census data they needed didn’t come until September," said Matt Dietrich, a spokesperson for the state board of elections.
The lack of census data was actually the subject of lawsuits last year.
The primary was last moved in 2008 when lawmakers pushed it forward to February in order to give Illinois larger influence on the presidential election where Barack Obama was a candidate, according to Dietrich.
What’s on the ballot in June?
Several key offices in the state are on the ballot. Though an individual voter won’t vote on every office, voters in the Sangamon County area will vote in the following primary elections:
U.S. representatives for the 13th District, which includes Springfield, Decatur and Champaign and the 15th District, which includes Taylorville, Petersburg, Jacksonville and Lincoln.
Governor and lieutenant governor, who run together
Secretary of state
State senator for the 44th, 48th, and 54th districts
State representative for the 87th, 95th, 96th, 100th, and 108th districts
Democratic State Central committeeperson, for voters in the Democratic primary only.
Candidates for regional school superintendent also file with the state board of elections.
Voters in Clearlake will also vote on a proposition to dissolve the village.
Illinois elections: Candidates for Illinois governor kick off formal campaign season in Springfield
How do you register to vote in Illinois?
Registering to vote is handled by the county clerk’s office in the county where a voter lives. Illinois residents can register online, in-person or by mail.
To register online, voters can go to the state board of elections website, though they will need a valid Illinois driver’s license or state ID.
Online registration is open until June 12.
Voters can also register in-person at the county clerk’s office.
Voters need two forms of identification to register to vote, both must show the voter’s name and at least one must have the voter’s current address. Most voters can use a state ID card or driver’s license and a credit card or utility bill. Voters can use their phones to provide identification, such as by pulling up their electricity or gas utility account information.
Voters can register in-person up until June 28, including on the day of the election.
Mail-in voter registration is available until May 31. Mail-in forms have to be physically mailed or walked into the county clerk’s office and cannot be sent electronically.
Illinois residents who are 17 on June 28, but will turn 18 by Nov. 8, the day of the general election, are eligible to vote in the primary election.
Illinois voters can check if you’re registered to vote with the local county clerk or online. Voter registration information can be found on the state board of elections website or by calling their local county clerk.
Can you vote by mail or vote early?
Illinois voters can vote in a variety of ways and at a variety of times.
Voters can report to their precinct voting location on the actual election on June 28, but can also vote by mail or early. To find out your precinct, check the state’s elections website or call the county clerk.
Applications to vote by mail are accepted from March 30 to June 23. All Illinois residents can vote by mail.
Voters also can cast their ballot in-person before election day at the county clerk’s office between May 19 and June 27.
In Sangamon County, early voting happens at the county clerk’s office. Some voters are eligible to vote early at the University of Illinois Springfield, depending on where they live. The hours vary, but early voting hours are during regular business hours on weekdays and on some Saturdays and Sundays. A full schedule of early voting times can be found on the county clerk’s website.
What about election security?
In short, no. At least not locally.
Following the 2020 election when election security became a polarizing topic, some local election officials across the country were threatened and some voters continue to worry about the election process.
Worries about fraud in elections are largely unfounded, since election crimes and voter fraud are exceptionally rare, according to an analysis from the Brennan Center for Justice. Direct foreign interference is also uncommon. The U.S. Department of Justice found no such issues in the 2020 elections.
And in Sangamon County, Gray assured voters security issues haven’t been a recent problem — and they don’t expect issues in 2022.
"It’s our job that the people are confident in an accurate and transparent result," said Gray.
This article originally appeared on State Journal-Register: Illinois primary election guide: When are election, how to register
April 8, 2022 at 02:37PM