School boards, village boards: Candidate nomination packets now available for spring elections in McHenry County

Residents can ask for permanent vote-by-mail application now, clerk says

Residents planning to run for local offices in McHenry County can begin picking up nomination packets starting Tuesday, the McHenry County clerk said.

For municipal and most local government roles, candidate packets are available from the clerk or secretary’s office at the entity in which the person is running, Clerk Joe Tirio said.

“For example, library board trustees file with the library district secretary,” he said.

The exception is school board races. For school boards throughout the county, nomination packets can be picked up at the McHenry County Clerk’s Office, 667 Ware Road in Woodstock, Tirio said.

The spring 2023 consolidated election for local governing boards is set for April 4.

Primary elections will take place Feb. 28. Only two towns, Crystal Lake and Woodstock, may have primary candidate races, he said.

In those communities, they follow a “two times plus one rule,” Tirio said. So, if two seats are open and five people file, a primary is required, he said.

Because of the potential for primary races, those towns have had candidate packets available since late August. Candidates there also have earlier deadlines to turn in nomination forms. Packets can be turned in on Nov. 21, 22 and 23 and Nov. 28.

Once candidates for the non-primary boards have the required number of signatures on their petitions, they begin filing those with the respective clerk’s offices between Dec. 12 to Dec. 19.

The rules for all local election hopefuls can be found on the Illinois State Board of Elections website.

Tirio said he hopes that as residents can now ask to permanently get their ballots by mail, there will be more interest in voting in the local elections, which typically see low voter turnout.

“I believe that will create some interest where there is otherwise not a lot of interest,” Tirio said.

Beginning with the general election on Nov. 8, residents can apply to permanently vote by mail. Letters to residents with the permanent vote-by-mail application began “hitting mailboxes this weekend,” he said.

Voters can request the permanent vote-by-mail application until Nov. 3 for the general election, Tirio said.

“If you enroll by permanent vote by mail by Nov. 3, you will get one for the general and the consolidated elections and forever after,” he said.