Election 2024: What to know about Election Day voting in McHenry County

Tuesday is the last day to cast a ballot in March primary

A man votes at the Algonquin Township Building in Cary on Thursday, March 14, 2024.

Tuesday is primary election day in McHenry County, and while the nominations for president were set before Illinoisans had their say, voters still have down-ballot races and referendums to weigh in on.

It’s too late to request a mail-in ballot, but it’s not too late to return one, or to even to register. Voters who requested and returned a mail-in ballot can track its status online at mchenryvbm.ballottrax.net/voter/. Those who vote in person can see that their vote counted through the tabulator, and it will alert voters if their ballot has errors.

Where and when to vote:

Polling places are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

To find your polling place and see a sample ballot in McHenry County, go to the county clerk’s website at mchenry-il.connect4.clarityelections.com/sample-ballot-locator/#Search. Additionally, the McHenry County Clerk’s Office in Woodstock is open to all voters. Mail-in ballots can also be dropped off at the McHenry County Administration Building drop box in the parking lot or at the polls. Voters who want to mail back their ballots must postmark the ballot by Tuesday and it has to arrive by April 2 to count.

If you’re still not registered:

Online registration for voting is closed, but Illinois offers same-day voter registration. To register to vote at the polls, residents will need to bring two forms of identification with them, one of which has their current address.

A woman walks past campaign signs that line the driveway to the McHenry County Administration Building, an early voting site, on Friday, March 8, 2024, in Woodstock.

What races are on the ballot?

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have secured the Democratic and Republican nominations for president, respectively, but voters will still encounter some other minor candidates on the Democratic ballot, while Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis, both of whom have dropped out in recent weeks, will still appear on the Republican ballot.

In the 11th Congressional District, which covers parts of McHenry, Crystal Lake, Woodstock, Lake in the Hills, Huntley and Marengo, as well as parts of other counties, voters in either party primary will have multiple candidates to choose from. Jerry Evans, Susan Hathaway-Altman and O. Kent Mercado are competing for the Republican nomination, while incumbent Bill Foster faces a challenge from Qasim Rashid in the Democratic primary.

The remaining Congressional districts in the county – the 9th, 10th and 16th – do not have contested primaries, but incumbent Democrats Jan Schakowsky and Brad Schneider and incumbent Republican Darin LaHood are running for reelection. So far, only Schneider has a general election opponent, Jim Carris. At the state level, no candidates for state representative have a primary challenger and no state senator representing McHenry County is up for reelection this year.

Countywide, Mike Buehler and Kelli Wegener are seeking the Republican and Democratic nominations for County Board Chair, respectively. Neither Buehler, the incumbent, nor Wegener, a county board member, has a primary opponent. Likewise, Coroner Michael Rein, Auditor Shannon Teresi, State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally and Circuit Clerk Kathy Keefe have all filed for re-election, but none has a Republican primary opponent. No candidates filed for any of those seats in the Democratic primary.

Judicial races are also on the ballot. No Democratic candidate filed for either of two vacancies, but Suzanne Mangiamele and Jennifer Johnson are running on the Republican side.

In McHenry County Board District 3, covering parts of Lake in the Hills, Algonquin, Lakewood, Crystal Lake and a sliver of Huntley, the Republican primary features a rematch between Robert “Bob” Nowak of Algonquin and incumbent Eric Hendricks of Lake in the Hills. Nowak was previously on the McHenry County Board before losing to Hendricks and Carolyn Campbell of Crystal Lake. Hendricks challenged Nowak’s candidacy in December over a typo in the word “Republican” in his nominating papers, but he was allowed to remain on the ballot. Rester Dogboe is running as a write-in candidate in the Democratic primary.

District 7, which covers Wonder Lake and parts of McHenry, Woodstock and Bull Valley, is the other contested primary race. Paul Thomas of Wonder Lake and Peter Suffield of Woodstock are competing for the Republican nomination. The winner of the primary election will face incumbent Lou Ness of Woodstock in the Nov. 5 general election.

What referendums are on the ballot?

The McHenry County Mental Health Board could be switching its funding structure to a sales tax if voters approve a referendum to do so Tuesday. Other questions voters will be asked to weigh in on include whether to grant Cary home rule status, if Marengo can collect a 1% sales tax to fund infrastructure, whether the Marengo Park District can annex land outside city boundaries and if the Harvard Fire Protection District can increase its tax levy.

Do voters have to pick a Democratic or Republican ballot to vote on referendums?

No. Voters wishing to vote on referenda but not pull either a Democratic or Republican ballot can ask for a nonpartisan ballot to weigh in on the proposed Mental Health Board sales tax and other questions.