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No Election Until April For Most Suburbs

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Voters cast their ballots in suburban Chicago. (credit: Frank Polich/Getty Images)

Voters cast their ballots in suburban Chicago. (credit: Frank Polich/Getty Images)

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JOLIET, Ill. (WBBM) – Excitement over Chicago elections next week has a number of suburban voters wondering when it’s their turn to go to the polls.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Nancy Harty reports, for most, the answer is not until April 5.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Nancy Harty reports

North Chicago, Waukegan, Dolton and South Holland have a few primary races Feb. 22, but the vast majority of suburban voters will not go to the polls until six weeks later.

Will County Clerk Nancy Schultz Voots says residents started calling about early voting weeks ago, spurred by news coverage.

“It’s been on the television. It’s been in the papers, all about the mayor’s race up in Chicago,” Voots said.

Many suburbs do not have a February election because of a change in state law requiring more candidates to trigger a primary.

But voters do not have to wait until April to cast ballots.

Early voting starts on March 14 for Will County, Voots said. The deadline for early voting is March 8.

Until 1995, Chicago held partisan mayoral primaries in February, followed by an April general election. But a change in state law replaced the primary with a non-partisan February election, followed by an April runoff election between the two top finishers if no candidate won more than 50 percent of the vote.

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