Cook County clerk says just one primary scheduled

 
 
Updated 1/23/2011 11:44 AM

New laws requiring more candidates per race to spark a primary mean that fewer precincts than ever will be open in the Cook County suburbs during the February primary.

As of Friday, County Clerk David Orr's office said, only South Holland would be in need of a primary election for its race for village trustee. South suburban Dolton has an objection pending in its trustees' race.

 

Less than 50 precincts will be open for the Feb. 22 election, in what Orr called "one of the smallest primaries we've had in suburban county history."

With fewer precincts open, and therefore fewer election judges to pay and polling places and early voting sites to operate, Orr's office estimates that it will spend about $250,00 less than usual.

A 2007 change to state law, which went into effect for the first time in 2009, now requires a primary in municipal elections only if there are four times the number of candidates as offices up for election. For instance, if three slots for Arlington Heights village trustee are open, a primary would only be required if more than 12 candidates were running.

Residents can register to vote in the Feb. 22 election until Jan. 25. Early voting in the primary begins Jan. 17, ending Feb. 10.

Another change in election law allows absentee ballots to be open to all voters. Applications for absentee ballots can be downloaded at cookcountyclerk.com.