PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Illinois residents can start casting their ballots on Thursday for the June 28 primary election.

Peoria County residents can vote in person at the Peoria County Election Commission on Brandywine St. in Peoria from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday until June 24.

“It’s the same experience as Election Day, just 40 days early, said Tom Bride, executive director at Peoria County Election Commission.

Bride said they received nearly 500 mail-in ballot requests. Residents can request a ballot on the commission’s website.

“Once people start doing it, they tend to get comfortable with it. I think there is a segment of the population that like the convenience of sitting down at the kitchen table and filling out their ballots,” he said.

Peoria County has new machines and is switching to paper ballots. A secure tabulation room with cameras, only accessible by Bride and two others, prints the ballots and also scans them.

Illinois’ primary election is usually in March, but delayed census data pushed it to June 28.

“It’s thrown our schedule off a lot. It worked out to some extent because we were bringing a new system in and getting that prepared. I’m not worried about snow on June 28 and sometimes you worry about that in Feb, March or even November elections,” said Bride.

Bride said satellite locations for early voting will open in mid-June, but for now, the commission is the only place to cast ballots.

Bride added they have 250 election judges but need another 100 judges. He suggested individuals who have reservations about election security to become a judge.

“We have 56 polling locations to man on Election Day, and we like to have seven or eight people at each location,” he said. “I would recommend if you have some concerns about elections, to be a judge, be part of the process.”