Your Guide to the Illinois Primary Election - NBC Chicago
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Your Guide to the Illinois Primary Election

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Tell Us How Your Pets Behave, and We’ll Tell You Which Toys They Want

    Election Day in Illinois is officially here, with voters across the state heading to the polls Tuesday. Here's a look at some essential resources to help you prepare for the big day —

    WHAT ARE THE RACES TO WATCH? 10 Races to Watch in Illinois Politics This Year10 Races to Watch in Illinois Politics This Year

    SEE WHO'S ON YOUR BALLOT

    Enter your address below to find out who your representatives are, and who's running against them.

    For a full sample ballot, be sure to visit your local election authority's website.

    WHO ARE THE CANDIDATES FOR GOVERNOR? Here's Who's Running for Governor of IllinoisHere's Who's Running for Governor of Illinois

    With a wider field of six candidates, here's a look at some background information on the Democrats running for the chance to unseat incumbent GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner (or take on his conservative challenger, state Rep. Jeanne Ives):  A Look at the Democrats Running for Illinois GovernorA Look at the Democrats Running for Illinois Governor

    WHO ARE THE CANDIDATES FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL? A Look at the Candidates Running for Ill. Attorney GeneralA Look at the Candidates Running for Ill. Attorney General

    WHO'S ENDORSED?

    If you're still undecided, it can be helpful to known who's backing whom. Click here for a breakdown of publications and their endorsements, and here for a list of organizations and elected officials who have thrown their support behind a candidate.

    WHAT QUESTIONS WILL BE ON THE BALLOT?

    Nearly every election includes some sort of referendum, and this year is no different. In addition to voting for your candidates, you can weigh in on issues specific to your municipality. Click through to find the questions that will be asked of Chicago voters, Cook County voters, and voters in suburban counties

    WHERE TO VOTE EARLY

    If you want to avoid the rush and cast your ballot before Election Day, you have plenty of options: 

    Full list of 51 early voting sites in Chicago

    Full list of 52 early voting sites for suburban Cook County residents

    How to find early voting locations in the Chicago-area's suburban counties

    With the exception of Will County, if your county offers multiple early voting locations, you can pick whichever one is most convenient for you.

    HOW TO FIND YOUR POLLING PLACE

    If you prefer to cast your ballot on Election Day, you have just one option: your designated polling place. If you don't know where that is, click here and choose your county to find out. 

    WHAT TIME POLLS ARE OPEN

    Polls open at 6 a.m. statewide, and will stay open through 7 p.m. But remember - if you are IN LINE when polls close, you can still vote! So if you're rushing to your polling place at the last minute, don't worry if you see a line - and don't let anyone try to dissuade you from casting your ballot. 

    WHAT YOU SHOULD BRING

    While a government-issued photo ID is not required to vote under Illinois law, it can be helpful to bring one should any questions about registration, address, signature, or more arise during the voting process.

    It's important to remember: you legally do not need any form of identification to cast your vote in Illinois, unless you are registering for the first time or changing your registration.

    SHOULD YOU TAKE A BALLOT SELFIE?

    NO. In Illinois, ballot selfies are prohibited by state law. It's a felony to mark your ballot so another person can see how you voted, carrying a potential prison sentence of one to three years.

    State election officials have said it's "unlikely" anyone would be prosecuted for a ballot selfie, but you should play it safe and take a picture of your "I Voted" sticker or pose next to the polling place sign instead.

    NOT REGISTERED TO VOTE? 

    If you're not registered in Illinois but still want to vote, it's not too late! You can take advantage of grace period registration through Election Day. You simply have to bring two forms of identification, one with your current address, to your polling place and be prepared to vote at the same time.

    WHAT TO DO IF YOU RUN INTO PROBLEMS

    While millions of people will cast their ballots without any problems, some may be challenged on their voting eligibility, experience voter intimidation, or have trouble at their polling place.

    If you run into any issues at all, or even have questions about the process, you are encouraged to call the Election Protection hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE (English only), 888-VE-Y-VOTA (English/Spanish) and 888-API-VOTE (English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Bengali, Hindi, Urdu and Tagalog).

    The hotline is run by a nonpartisan coalition of more than 100 organizations, led by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. 

    HOW TO GET LIVE RESULTS

    Live Election Day coverage will air on NBC 5 throughout the evening and at 10 p.m. You can also track up-the-minute race results live in the NBC Chicago app and right here on NBCChicago.com.

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