What you should know about the Illinois primary election

What you should know about the Illinois primary election

Here’s what you should know about the Illinois primaries, and how to vote in Chicago. 

What is a primary?

A primary is a state-by-state contest that helps to determine which candidates from each party will be competing against each other in the general election Nov. 8.

There are three types of primaries: open, closed and semi-closed. Illinois is a semi-closed primary, so voters will disclose their party to a judge at the polling station before they vote. Votes in a primary election determine how many delegates a candidate will get at the National Convention.

What is a delegate?

Delegates are awarded to candidates based on the number of votes he or she gets in the primary election. Delegates are party activists, local political leaders or early supporters of a given candidate. This year, the Democratic candidate will have to win 2,382 out of the 4,763 delegates in order to win the party’s nomination; the Republican candidate must secure at least 1,237 out of the 2,472 delegates in order to win the party’s nomination. Each state has a certain number of delegates. The candidate with the most delegates within their party will win the nomination.

[Illinois races to watch next week]

 How do I vote early in Chicago?

Fifty-one early voting sites are open now through March 12, and on March 13 and 14, 14 sites will be open. Voters can register or change their address on site with two forms of ID, one of which must show your current address.

How do I vote on election day, March 15? 

Registered voters must vote at their designated polling location. Find your polling place in Chicago here.

Can I vote by mail?

Maybe. In Chicago, you must apply by the March 10 deadline. This may differ for other counties, so check with your local board of elections.

What does current polling suggest?

Current polls give Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump commanding leads in Illinois in their respective parties.

Both younger Illinois voters and voters of all ages in the city of Chicago say they will likely vote for a Democratic candidate in the primaries.

How Illinois voters under 35 plan to vote.
How Illinois voters under 35 plan to vote.
How voters in the city of Chicago plan to vote in the primary.
How voters in the city of Chicago plan to vote in the primary.
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