KANKAKEE — Although votes will not be cast for about six months, voters need to brace themselves as Election 2022 officially begins Thursday.
That day will mark the first day candidates can begin circulating nominating petitions for elected office and there is a wide variety of offices that will be up for election this year.
This year will also be somewhat unusual as the primary election — normally held in the months of March or April — has been pushed back to June 28 due to issues surrounding delayed U.S. Census results.
Nominating petitions will be filed with the County Clerk’s offices in Kankakee and Iroquois counties from March 7-14.
Kankakee County offices up for election come the June 28 primary and the Nov. 8 general election are clerk, sheriff, treasurer and superintendent for the regional office of education.
All 28 Kankakee County Board members are up for vote due to the redistricting following the 2020 U.S. Census count.
Also on the ballot will be the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democrat Tammy Duckworth. The two U.S. House seats within portions of Kankakee County — the 1st and the 2nd Congressional Districts — will also be on the ballot.
In Iroquois County, offices on the ballot are county clerk, treasurer, and sheriff. Also up for election are 16 county board members: District I, 4 seat; District II, 4 seats; District III, 4 seats; and District IV: 4 seats.
Statewide, the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer and comptroller will be up for vote, along with the region’s state senator and state representative.
“The ball starts rolling next week,” said Kankakee County Clerk Dan Hendrickson.
To make things even more interesting, Hendrickson noted the county will be using its new ballot-casting equipment come June. Voting by mail will also be available for the primary and the general elections.
Independent candidates or those running within new political parties — meaning those who are not running as a Republican, Democrat or Libertarian — can pick up their county filing petition forms the week of April 13. Those petitions are due the week of July 5-11.
The late primary election change was part of legislation recently signed by Gov. JB Pritzker this past summer which pushed back the primary election by nearly three-and-a-half months due to issues with the U.S. Census.
Moving the election date was not the only matter addressed by Senate Bill 825.
The new law makes mail voting a permanent option, allows jail inmates awaiting trial to cast ballots and makes Election Day a state holiday.