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Illinois Early Voting Starts Monday -- Here's What You Need to Know

By Tanveer Ali | February 9, 2016 11:22am | Updated on February 28, 2016 7:30pm
 A Chicagoan casts her ballot on the 2015 mayoral election.
A Chicagoan casts her ballot on the 2015 mayoral election.
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Gettt Images/Joshua Lott

CHICAGO — The 2016 Illinois primary is March 15. Here's what Chicago voters need to know:

What's on the ballot? The ones you probably know about are the primaries to nominate the Democrat and Republican candidates for president. As of Feb. 5, six people were on the ballot on the Democratic side, 11 on the Republican side.

Other offices on the nomination ballot include U.S. senator, U.S. representative, state senator, recorder of deeds, clerk of the circuit court, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District commissioners, ward committeeman and judges.

Many of these are unopposed — though there's always a write-in option — but there are some contested races.

One of the major local races is that of the Democratic nomination for Cook County State's Attorney. Incumbent Anita Alvarez has faced tough criticism since the release of the Laquan McDonald police shooting video last year and is facing stiff opposition from challenger Kim Foxx.

Here's a list, subject to change:

You can only vote on either the Democratic or Republican ballot, though you do not need to be a member of that party.

How can I register? Using a driver's license or a state ID, you can register to vote online. Or if you are getting or renewing identification at a Secretary of State's office, you can simply register there.

You can also visit the Chicago Election Board office on the sixth floor of 69 W. Washington St. between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Friday. Make sure to bring two forms of ID, at least one with your current address.

Lastly, you can mail in your registration.

When do I need to register by? You must register to vote online or by mail before Feb. 16. Between Feb. 17 and March 14, you can both register and vote at the Chicago Election Board office (sixth floor of 69 W. Washington St.) Between Feb. 29 through March 14, you can register and vote at early voting locations.

Where is early voting? All 51 Chicago locations you can vote early in the city — one for each ward plus Chicago Election Board offices — are listed here. You can vote at any of these locations, regardless of where you live in Chicago.

Can I vote by mail? Yes, but you need to apply to vote by March 10.

Where can I vote? Type in your address on this site. It'll show you your assigned polling location as well as information about which local races pertain to you.

How old do I need to be to vote? Anyone who will turn 18 in time for the general election on Nov. 8 may register and vote for the March 15 primary.