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posted: 2/18/2014 5:30 AM

Primary voter registration ends today

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By Marty Hobe

Registration to vote in the March 18 primary election ends today.

People who want to register today can visit their county election authority's website or the State Board of Elections website to find out where to go to sign up. Many municipal and township government offices, as well as county offices, will register voters.

For the first time in Illinois, 17-year-olds can register to vote in the primary election if they will turn 18 by the Nov. 4 general election.

Those who have recently moved or changed their names need to re-register.

Republicans in particular have big decisions to make as nominations for both governor and U.S. Senate are up for grabs March 18. Congressional and Illinois legislative seats throughout the suburbs also have primary elections. In some cases, voters in the primary have the final say because a candidate has no challenger from an opposing party on Nov. 4.

Primaries differ than the general election in Illinois in that residents vote on a partisan basis, picking a Democratic or Republican ticket at the door. What a voter picks is public record.

Voters can still participate in the election if they don't register on time. Grace period registration starts Wednesday.

But voters can't register in as many locations during the grace period and have to vote at the same time as they register.

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