After waiting many months longer than is normal, residents in McHenry County will line up on Tuesday to cast their votes in this year’s primary election races.
While the weather is a tad different than it would have been in either March or April, many residents said they weren’t very affected by the delayed voting day.
“It just felt like a longer wait,” Algonquin resident Anthony De Bartolo said. “I wanted to hurry up and get it over with.”
Tuesday’s election marks the end of a primary season that was extended nearly four months due to various delays in census results and the redistricting process tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The delay had McHenry County Clerk Joe Tirio and some other local officials concerned about voter turnout. Tirio said he worried that between more residents on their summer vacations and a longer primary season, more would-be voters would tune the election out.
“The bigger elections have been campaigning for so long that it’s become a bit like furniture,” he said. “All the campaigning fails to make an impression anymore.”
The early voting period kicked off May 19. While it started out slow, the voting period has seen an uptick in recent days, Tirio said. About 8,000 votes had been cast as of Monday morning.
“It’s picked up the past few days,” he said. “It was really, really low. … I was concerned, but we seem to be headed back in the right direction.”
In March 2020, which was a presidential election year, nearly 17,000 people voted early, according to McHenry County Clerk’s Office data. Early voting data for the 2018 primary was not available, Tirio said.
For those voting on the Republican ticket, the McHenry County sheriff’s race drew a lot of interest. Some voters, such as Lake in the Hills resident Art Tkchenko, said their personal relationship with candidates Tony Colatorti and Robb Tadelman affected their vote.
Others took an interest in the governor’s race, which has six Republicans squaring off for the chance to face Gov. JB Pritzker, a Democrat, in November. De Bartolo, for example, said he supported state Sen. Darren Bailey, while his wife, Nicole, supported McHenry County businessman Gary Rabine.
Others voting on the Democratic ticket said they hope to fend off Republicans come November. Algonquin residents Chris and Arthur Houtsinger said they went straight Democrat.
“We have to get those Republicans out,” she said.
With election integrity in mind, Tirio’s office is implementing various security measures to ensure an accurate count, he said. This includes a new hand-count auditing method to make sure the machines and humans are counting the same way.
“There’s a couple other things we’re doing, but we don’t publicize those so much because sometimes the value and the security is not broadcasting everything,” Tirio said.
Here’s what you need to know if you’re voting on Election Day
Polling places Tuesday scheduled to be open for voting from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Illinois, according to the state’s election website. You cannot vote online or through text message, according to the website.
“Bad actors may convey incorrect information about the election in an attempt to cause disruption to, or distrust of, the election process,” according to the website.
Voters are not required to bring an ID if they already are registered to vote in Illinois, though you will be required to verify your signature.
Though there are some exceptions. An election judge may ask for an ID if they challenge your right to vote, ID was not provided when registering or if you are not listed as registered to vote.
If you are asked, acceptable forms must include your name and address. They include a current and valid photo ID, a utility bill, a bank statement, a government check or document, a paycheck, a lease, a student and mail addressed to the voter’s residence.