Thursday marks beginning of election petition signatures for candidates

Local News

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Election season is right around the corner and Thursday candidates in state and local elections can begin collecting signatures.

Illinois candidates running for federal, state, and county elected positions have until March to get enough signatures in order to see their name on the ballot for their respective political party ahead of June’s primary election.

Illinois’ primary election season officially started Thursday for candidates. At the McLean County Clerk’s Office, candidates could pick their petition packets up in person or online.

“You can download these ahead of time, but the only problem is for candidates is you don’t want to start getting your signatures on petitions until today (Thursday),” said McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael.

Candidates from the Republican, Democrat, and Libertarian parties started their process for the June primaries in hopes of making it all the way to the general election in the fall.

“What you’re doing is you’re selecting the candidates that will represent each party in November for the general election,” said Executive Director of Peoria County Election Commission, Tom Bride.

This year the primary election was pushed until June 28th due to a delay in the state’s redistricting of state and federal seats. Bride said that also shortened the amount of time candidates have to get their required amount of signatures.

“Typically there’s 90 days to collect the signatures, this year there’s only 60 days so the actual signature requirement was reduced by one-third, too,” Bride said.

County clerks and local election commissions handle the petitions and election process for county leaders and local races. In McLean and other counties. sheriffs, clerks and county board members will all appear on the primary ballots.

“We have 10 districts and we have two representatives in each district, so all 20 of those because of the redistricting and remapping. They all have to run this time. Usually, it’s staggered; one year 10 run and two years later the other 10 run,” Michael said.

Michael said in June voters will see federal and state lawmakers running for positions in primary battles as well. Those petitions are handled by their respective election commissions.

The deadline to file most petitions for Illinois is March 7 and the final day to turn them in is March 14 by 5 p.m.

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