What Is a Primary Election? Here's What to Know

The 2022 Illinois primary election will be held June 28

Preparations for the 2022 Illinois primary election are ramping up, as the June 28 election day nears. 

But what is a primary election? Here is an explanation detailing the democratic process.

What Are Primary Elections?

Political parties use primary elections to select candidates and narrow the field of competition for elective congressional and state offices ahead of a general election. 

After the party’s candidates are determined through the primaries, they run against each other for the general election, which is how they are officially voted by constituents into office.

There are three different types of primaries: open, closed and semi closed. Terms of participation may differ by state and jurisdiction, according to Ballotpedia.

A voter of any party affiliation can vote in the primary of any party in an open primary, while a voter can only vote in the primary of the party they are registered with in a closed primary. 

In a semi-closed primary, independent voters and those without a political affiliation can choose which party’s primary to vote in. Voters registered with a party may only participate in that respective party’s primary, according to Ballotpedia.

How Will The Primary Election Work in Illinois?

Illinois is an open primary state, which means that voters are not required to register with a party to participate. However, voters have to publicly state their party affiliation at the polling place. 

On the state's primary ballot, local measures and races will be listed alongside Republican and Democratic nominees for governor.

According to Ballotpedia's unofficial list, two Democratic candidates are vying for the Democratic nominee for governor, including incumbent J.B. Pritzker.

The list of people running on the Republican ticket for governor is longer, with 10 candidates listed.

Additional candidates are not allowed to run for governor, as the filing deadline for this election has passed.

When Is the 2022 Illinois Primary Election?

The 2022 Illinois primary election is June 28, which is later than usual.

Historically, the primaries take place in March. But during the 2021 Illinois General Assembly, lawmakers passed Senate Bill 825, which shifted the primaries to June 28.

What Are Important Dates to Know Ahead of the 2022 Illinois Primary Election?

May 19: Early in-person voting begins at your county clerk's office

June 12: Last day to register online to vote in Illinois. You can still register to vote in-person, up until and on election day (June 28).

June 23: Last day for election officials to receive your mail-in ballot (so make sure your mail-in ballot is postmarked before this date)

June 28: Illinois state-wide primary election. Polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

When Is the 2022 Illinois General Election?

The 2022 Illinois general election will be Nov. 8. Winners of the primary election will appear on the ballot as the party's nominee for the general election.

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