What you need to know to vote in today's primary election
Voters headed off to the polls Tuesday to cast their votes in primaries that will determine who will face off in November for governor, seats in Congress, the Illinois legislature and county boards.
Decisions made by voters ultimately will set up suburban campaigns for the Nov. 8 general election, including some that could be among the most watched in the country.
Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. today. After the polls close, check back at dailyherald.com for results.
Here's what else you need to know to vote.
What's on your ballot?
Check online to find whether you are registered, your polling place on Election Day and a sample ballot.
Which political party?
Voters in primaries must declare their political party before receiving a ballot. Depending on party affiliation, the ballot will focus solely on Democratic or Republican candidates. What ballot you pull is public record, but whom you vote for isn't.
Those who want to vote only on referendums can ask for a nonpartisan ballot.
Can I register?
You can register and cast a ballot at the same time if you're a U.S. citizen and present two forms of identification, one of which must have your address on it. Examples include a passport or military I.D., driver's license, college or work ID, vehicle registration, lease, insurance card, bank statement or utility bill.
If you already are registered, you do not routinely need identification to vote. However, an election judge can ask for identification in certain circumstances, such as if a previously mailed-in registration form is incomplete.
Can I bring in a smartphone or newspapers?
Newspapers, yes (so feel free to bring the list of Daily Herald endorsements, which you'll find on our editorial page). There is no state law prohibiting cellphones. But local authorities can set rules, so it's best to do your research and write down your picks on paper before you arrive. You're not allowed to make or receive phone calls while inside the polling place. If you make a phone call and slip into a conversation about the candidates, it's considered electioneering, which is illegal.
If questions are raised at the polls about a voter's registration or identity, the voter can fill out a provisional ballot. While it is the same as the normal ballot, it will not be counted until the election authority has determined the voter is eligible to vote. The authority has 14 days to determine eligibility, and voters have two days after voting to provide additional information.
No one is allowed to attempt to influence a voter within 100 feet of the polling place, among other rules. Any suspicious or illegal activity can be reported to the Illinois attorney general's office at (866) 536-3496.