Early voting has begun for the 2018 primary election in Illinois. The early voting window runs from March 5th to March 19th, the day before the March 20th Election Day.

Voters must choose a ballot at their polling place: Republican, Democrat, Green (where available), or nonpartisan. The nonpartisan ballot will have only referenda (ballot questions), without any individual candidates.

Green Party Ballots Available

Illinois holds primary elections for “established parties.” The Illinois Green Party is established in Cook County and the 12th Congressional District, which covers all of Alexander, Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Monroe, Perry, Pulaski, Randolph, St. Clair, Union and Williamson counties, and part of Madison County.

In those areas, voters will be able to ask for a Green Party ballot during early voting and on Election Day, March 20th.

Voters cannot cast votes for Green Party candidates, including write-in votes, on any other party’s ballot. Those votes will be discarded.

Green Party Turnout is Essential In Cook County!

In Cook County, a vacancy created by the death of Commissioner Timothy Bradford will be on primary ballots as a write-in-only primary, with no ballot-listed candidate names. (This is true on all party’s ballots, not just the Green Party ballot.)

For a write-in candidate in a primary election to advance to the general election, a minimum number of votes must be met. In the “Vacancy of Bradford” election, that number is 1,720 votes.

That means we need 1,720 suburban Cook County voters to pull the Green Party ballot, and cast a write-in vote for the Green Party’s registered write-in candidate, Geoffrey Cubbage.

If we do not receive at least 1,720 write-in votes for Geoffrey Cubbage from suburban Cook County voters, we will not have a candidate for that seat in the general election.

For more information on the “Vacancy of Bradford” election, and detailed instructions on how to cast your write-in vote, please visit the “How to Vote” page on the Greens for MWRD campaign website.

Voting Outside Cook County and IL-12

Voters who are registered outside the boundaries of the “established party” districts will not be offered Green Party ballots for the 2018 primary election.

However, the ILGP still encourages voters who do not identify with the parties currently in power to turn out, and to cast a nonpartisan ballot, for two reasons:

1) There are often local referenda (ballot questions), which are a rare chance to exercise direct democracy. Local referenda are advisory (non-binding), but they provide an important test of public opinion on the ballot-listed questions.

2) A nonpartisan ballot is, effectively, a vote of “no confidence” in the available party options. Unlike staying home, it demonstrates that the voter is active, engaged, and willing to come to the polls, but does not support either of the parties currently in power.

Citizens who are not satisfied with the candidates of either party in power should make their opinion known, and the nonpartisan ballot gives them an opportunity to do so.

How to Vote Early

Early voting is run by the local election authority, which is typically the County Clerk (although several cities have their own separate election authorities for residents within municipal boundaries). You can find your local election authority on the state’s Election Authority webpage, or you can search online for your county clerk’s office.