Where you can vote right now in Illinois

 
 
Updated 2/12/2016 4:57 AM
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  • Elgin residents wait to vote at the Gail Borden Public Library in 2010. This year's primary isn't for a month, but people can start voting in some places now.

    Elgin residents wait to vote at the Gail Borden Public Library in 2010. This year's primary isn't for a month, but people can start voting in some places now. Daily Herald File Photo

The Illinois primary day isn't for a month. Half the nation gets all the fun first.

But some people in Illinois are voting right now, and options will expand next week.

On Thursday, Lake County started mailing ballots to those who requested them and began allowing people to vote at the Lake County clerk's office in Waukegan, Clerk Carla Wyckoff said.

Those mail ballots can draw the attention of organized campaigns, which can send out ballot applications to voters and track whether a ballot has been sent in, giving them a good idea of where to focus their vote-getting efforts.

Democrat Hillary Clinton will be in Chicago Wednesday for a get-out-the-vote rally even though most of the vote will get out on the actual March 15 primary day.

Getting moving

Election officials across the state have been taking applications for mail ballots this month. But attempts to kick some candidates off the ballot delayed ballots being approved by the state, which delayed ballots getting printed in some cases.

Kane County has been mailing out ballots since Feb. 4. DuPage and suburban Cook County will start sending mail ballots out no later than Wednesday, and allowing limited in-person voting, spokesmen said.

Deadlines

Tuesday is the last day to register to vote for the primary -- except that it isn't.

A grace period starts Wednesday and runs until the March 15 election. The catch? There are limited places to register, and if you do so after Tuesday, you'll have to vote on the spot. So that's another way people might vote early.

The real deal

It's not until Feb. 29 that early voting is available more widely, at multiple locations in each county.

Learn more

The Daily Herald has launched its primary election website, which can be found DailyHerald.com/Election.

There you can find stories about each race we cover, as well as questionnaires candidates have filled out to give you an idea of where they stand on particular issues.

Cruz update

Tickets will cost $120 to see Republican Ted Cruz at the Northwest Suburban Republican Lincoln Day Dinner a few days before Illinois' primary.

Cruz will appear March 11 at the Meadows Club in Rolling Meadows.

The event will be hosted by radio host and former Republican candidate for governor Dan Proft, who runs Liberty Principles PAC.

Social Security numbers

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth has proposed giving Social Security beneficiaries a one-time $580 payment because they won't get a cost-of-living benefit increase this year.

The plan was introduced by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, and would be paid for by "stitching up corporate tax write-offs," Duckworth said in a statement.

Her office said 14 percent of people in the 8th District represented by the Hoffman Estates Democrat receive Social Security benefits.

Statewide, more than 2.1 million people are Social Security beneficiaries.

Duckworth isn't running for re-election. She is instead pursuing the seat in the U.S. Senate now held by Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Highland Park.

Democrats Andrea Zopp of Chicago and Napoleon Harris of Harvey are running in the primary for U.S. Senate, too, and the three are set to meet for their first and only televised debate next week on Friday, Feb. 19.

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