Early voting opens up across Illinois, minus some counties with ballot disputes

A woman casts an early voting ballot for the Illinois 2022 Primary.
A woman casts an early voting ballot for the Illinois 2022 Primary.(WGEM)
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 6:39 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) - For most of the state, early voting opened up Thursday for residents to cast their ballots in the Illinois primary.

Some counties, including Cook, have delayed the start of primaries due to ongoing legal disputes over who should and shouldn’t be on the ballot.

The Illinois Board of Elections certified the ballot late last month, but some of their decisions have been appealed. Counties are waiting on those decisions instead of printing ballots with incorrect or missing names on them.

In a majority of other counties, voting commenced today. Voters will be able to vote early from now until June 27, and then during the primaries on June 28. Their voting to see who will officially face off as the party’s chosen candidate in November.

Midterm elections tend to draw less voter turnout than general elections in a presidential year. However, some of the early voters today argued it’s important to come out every time they can vote.

“I take it pretty seriously,” Sangamon County voter James Mees said. “It’s the old saying, you know, ‘if you don’t vote, you can’t complain,’ and I think it’s very important.”

The entire Illinois General Assembly and most of the state’s constitutional officers, including governor and lieutenant governor, as up for a vote in this election cycle.

Some of today’s early voters make it a yearly tradition. Sangamon County voter Abby Walsh said her job usually has her pretty busy on election day, so she’s made it her tradition to vote on the first day of early voting instead.

She’s hoping others cast and ballot and look into the candidates before they do.

“There’s a lot of candidates with primaries and the ballot I cast had four people running for some of the seats so it could come down to the wire if the votes are split up,” Walsh said. “I think it’s really important that people do pay attention, all the way from the statewide offices to the county offices.”

As for the counties with delayed voting, those ballots may be waiting on the results of appealed objections.

“I do think it can be helpful for understanding to state that judicial review cases related to electoral board proceedings are proceeding through the courts; therefore, it is accurate that this can result in changes to the ballot,” a spokesperson for the Illinois Board of Elections said. “[Election officials] concerned with providing an accurate ballot to voters may be weighing this against starting early voting when the potential for a changed ballot remains.”

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