IL voters head to the polls for presidential primary

IL voters head to the polls for presidential primary

MURPHYSBORO, IL (KFVS) - The Illinois Primary is underway and voters headed out to the roughly 11,000 polling places throughout the state on Tuesday, March 15.

Voting began at 6 a.m. and goes on until 7 p.m.

Larry Reinhardt, who's been with the Jackson County Clerk's office for the past 18 years, believes this year's turnout is going to be a big one.

"For a partisan primary, we do expect a pretty good size turnout. In 2008, we had a little over 12,000 ballots cast in the presidential primary. I expect we'll hit that again this time," Reinhardt said.

Union County Clerk Terry Bartruff said this year's presidential race has high interest.

"Usually the presidential race is bigger than the gubernatorial race, but [primaries] do vary according to local races. We only have one local race it's for county commissioner on the republican ballot," said Bartruff. "There's a lot of controversy, of course, for the presidential races and I think that's actually what's bringing people out to vote."

For voters who have already registered, everything is signature verification only; no is ID required and that's for both early voting and election day voting.

Reinhardt said the clerk's office has the signature on file or digitized on their computer system.

"So whether they're voting in a polling place or in our in-office center, the signature is available for comparison and that's how we verify an individual," he said. "The main thing to be concerned about for voters is this will be the first election where, you know same day registration is readily available here in Illinois."

For those that are registering to vote for the first time or need to change your address, there are specific places to go and certain items you need to bring.

Reinhardt said in smaller counties, such as Jackson County and most of the counties throughout southern Illinois, same day registration will be available only at the county clerk's office or in Jackson County's case, also at the SIU student center.

"If someone does have to change their address or register for the first time, they will have to have two forms of ID in Illinois," Reinhardt said. "We always say at least one that verifies the person and at least one that verifies their local address."

For those who are registering, Reinhardt recommends to get to the county clerk's office early, as it can get pretty busy.

For polling locations, click here.

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