The first day of spring for 2024 has arrived — and so has the Illinois primary election.

Polls are now open for the Illinois’ 2024 primary election. Voters across the state will weigh in on local referendums and choose their preferred nominees in all races, including the presidential race in November.

CLICK HERE FOR LIVE ELECTION RESULTS

In order to vote Tuesday, Illinois voters will need to declare their choice of ballot when they arrive at their polling place. A list of polling places, and how to find one near you can be found here.

Here’s a breakdown of polling place hours, how to register to vote, what’s on your Illinois primary ballot and more as Illinois primary day for 2024 approaches.

When do polls open and close on election day?

Polls open at 6 a.m. statewide, according to the Illinois Board of Elections. They will stay open through 7 p.m.

And, remember: if you are IN LINE when polls close at 7 p.m., you can still vote!

Where to vote near you

You can find your nearest polling place by entering your zip code here. In some areas, voters can only go to their assigned precinct location in order to vote on Election Day.

In Chicago however, that isn’t the case.

According to the Chicago Board of Elections, a Chicago voter can vote at any of the city’s 51 early voting sites, no matter where they live in the city.

Registering to vote in Illinois

Voters in Illinois who haven’t registered yet can still take advantage of grace-period and same-day voter registration.

Residents seeking to register to vote must:

  • Be a United States citizen
  • Must be 18 years of age or older on Election Day
  • Must live in their precinct for at least 30 days prior to an election
  • Must not be serving a prison sentence as a result of a criminal conviction
  • May not claim the right to vote anywhere else

What to bring to vote in-person

If you are already registered to vote at your current address, you will not need to bring a government-issued photo ID to vote, but it could be helpful if any questions arise about your registration, address or signature.

If you are registering to vote on the day of the election, or need to make changes to your registration such as a new address or a legally-changed name, you can do so, but will need two forms of ID.

Finally, voters are allowed to bring notes into the booth with information on which candidates they’ll be voting for.

Is it too late to vote by mail?

For the 2024 primary election, yes.

However, any registered voter in the state of Illinois can cast their ballot via the mail for any reason.

Voters must have apply for mail-in ballots by submitting forms to their local election authority. Those forms can be submitted online in some areas, while in others they can be downloaded and either mailed in or submitted in person.

The deadline to request a mail-in ballot for the Illinois Primary was March 14.

Ballots can be returned to your local election authority, or can be submitted via a secure drop box. A full list of drop boxes can be found on the State Board of Elections’ website.

Ballots can also be returned via the mail, but most be postmarked by March 19. Ballots must arrive at the local election authority no later than April 2 to be counted.

Who’s on the ballot in Illinois

In the 2024 primary, Illinois voters will choose their preferred nominees in all of the races, including the presidential race, which will appear at the top of ballots.

Voters will also choose their preferred presidential delegates, who will formally cast votes on behalf of their candidate during the Republican and Democratic National Conventions later this year.

Outside of the presidency, voters will also choose nominees for the November election for their respective members of Congress, with all 17 members of Illinois’ Congressional delegation facing reelection this year.

All 118 members of Illinois’ House of Representatives will be up for re-election in 2024, as will approximately one-third of the state’s 59 senators.

MORE: 10 races to watch in the 2024 Illinois primary election

Some districts will also have primary votes on Supreme Court justices, with elections in the first and fourth districts. Justices in those races are running to fill full 10-year terms on the court.

Voters will also determine nominees for appellate court, circuit courts and subcircuit courts when they cast their ballots.

Finally, some counties will also have countywide races to decide in 2024. You can see a small sample of who’s on your ballot here.

Referendums on your ballot

Whether you live in Chicago or the suburbs, there are plenty of communities wrestling with thorny questions. Here’s a preview of what you can expect on your ballot, depending on where you live.

MORE: What is the ‘Bring Chicago Home’ Referendum, and is it still on your ballot?

How to research judges

Judges are elected from specific districts or circuits in the state of Illinois, so the judges that will appear on your ballot will be different depending on where you live.

The Illinois Supreme Court has seven total seats, including three from the first district, which represents Cook County.

In this year’s election cycle, there will be an election in that First District, as Justice Joy Cunningham will run for election to a full 10-year term after replacing former Chief Justice Ann Burke in Dec. 2022.

There is also an election in the fourth district, as Justice Lisa Holder White will run for a full 10-year term on the bench after replacing former Justice Rita Garman.

The fourth district covers a slew of counties in western and central Illinois, including Ogle, Lee, Peoria and Sangamon counties.

There are numerous other vacancies in the Appellate Court, including four in the First District, and at least 11 vacancies in the Cook County circuit court, among others.

Numerous organizations offer recommendations on judges. Here’s a guide to help you navigate the process.

Can I take a ballot selfie?

Taking photos with your ballot is prohibited by state law, as it’s a felony to mark your ballot so another person can see how you voted.

Granted, state election officials have said it’s “unlikely” anyone would be prosecuted for such a photo, but taking a picture with a sticker or your polling place is far safer.

What should I do if I run into any problems voting?

Voters who are challenged on their voting eligibility, who experience voter intimidation or have trouble at their polling place are encouraged to report such incidents.

If you run into any of the above issues, or have any questions about the voting process, more than 100 organizations across the U.S. operate an Election Protection hotline, which can be reached at:

1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683): English

1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (1-888-839-8682): Spanish/English

1-888-API-VOTE (1-888-274-8683): Asian languages/English

1-844-YALLA-US (1-844-925-5287): Arabic/English

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is one of the organizations that helps operate the hotline during election season.

Residents can also text MYVOTE to 866-687-8683 to get help from trained volunteers. Assistance is also available on Twitter or Facebook Messenger at @866ourvote, and live-chatting can be accessed on the group’s website.

How to get live Illinois election results

Election Day coverage will be airing live on NBC Chicago throughout the evening and at 10 p.m. Coverage of up-to-the-minute race results can also be found on NBCChicago.com and on the NBC Chicago app, where you can turn on notifications for all the latest race results.

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