EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Folepi Building in East Peoria on Tuesday was abuzz with voters eager to cast their primary election ballots.

In Illinois primary elections, voters choose a party ballot upon arrival, then select their candidates. They are not required to pre-register parties.

“You know what they say – If you don’t vote, you can’t complain. This is part of a process that everybody needs to take part in. Citizenship is not a gift. We need to work for it, we need to do for others,” said voter Gail Mericle.

Tazewell County Clerk John Ackerman said elections were running smoothly. He said primary elections are just as important as the general election.

“Primary is vital because it determines who the candidates are for us. It sets the table for the general election. I hear people always say ‘man, isn’t there anyone better than those two?’… Well, this is your time to pick somebody other than those two… It gives you that opportunity to select who the candidates are going to be,” he said.

Ackerman added voters should thank their election judges for their service.

“They do a fantastic job, working really long hours. Please show them appreciation for the community service they provide,” he said.

Polls close at 7 p.m.