2024 election: First day of primary election voting in McHenry County is quiet, smooth

Voting machines are set up on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, inside the McHenry County Administration Building in Woodstock. Early voting starts on Feb. 23 for the April 4 consolidated election.

Nearly two dozen voters made their voices heard in a quiet first day of early voting Thursday for the 2024 primary election in McHenry County.

McHenry County Clerk Joe Tirio said 21 voters cast their ballots at the clerk’s office Thursday.

“It went well,” Tirio said of day one of early voting.

Tirio added his office sent out 15,000 ballots in the mail Thursday. About 200,000 voters are registered in the county, Tirio said.

McHenry County has few contested primary races this election cycle, with only two county board seats contested, both Republican.

One of those races featured McHenry County Board District 3 incumbent Eric Hendricks challenging Bob Nowak’s candidacy over a misspelling of the word “Republican.” Nowak previously was on the McHenry County Board before losing to Hendricks in 2022.

In-person voting is currently on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the county clerk’s office, but early voting expands to other locations in McHenry County March 4. All voters can early vote at any location, and can vote at the county clerk’s office on election day.

The last day to cast a ballot in the primary is March 19, election day. Mail ballots must be postmarked by then, and voters can surrender their mail ballots at the polling place to vote in-person.

Voters have to declare a party in order to vote for candidates, but can request a nonpartisan ballot to vote on referendums such as whether to switch the Mental Health Board sales tax.

Tirio encouraged voters to “vote early.”