And so it begins.
The two-week early voting period before the March 18 primary begins Monday at 10 locations throughout McHenry County. You can cast your ballot at any of them, not just the one closest to you, through March 15.
McHenry County voters this year will elect all statewide constitutional offices, a U.S. Senate seat, all seats in the U.S. and state Houses of Representatives, one Illinois Senate seat, four countywide offices and half the County Board. Winners of the primary will run in the Nov. 4 midterm election.
Voters March 18 also will decide the fate of a number of referendums and elect their local precinct committeemen.
Both races for Illinois governor are contested. Republicans will settle a four-way race among Bruce Rauner, Kirk Dillard, Bill Brady and Dan Rutherford, while incumbent Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn faces a long-shot challenge by Chicago anti-violence advocate Tio Hardiman.
Former Illinois House Minority Leader Tom Cross and Bob Grogan are seeking the GOP nod for treasurer to replace Rutherford.
Republican voters will choose between state Sen. Jim Oberweis and Doug Truax to decide who will run for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin. Democratic voters will decide whether Dennis Anderson or John Hosta runs for the 14th Congressional District seat against incumbent Republican Rep. Randy Hultgren.
Three Republicans are running for the 65th House District, which includes a sliver of McHenry County. Steven Andersson, Debbie Miller and Daniel Ugaste are running to replace Rep. Timothy Schmitz, who is not seeking another term.
Republican Sen. Karen McConnaughay is running unopposed for the 33rd Senate District which covers far southern McHenry County. All other Illinois House districts in the county are unopposed in the primary, although Democratic Rep. Jack Franks of Marengo will face a November race against GOP challenger Steven Reick of rural Harvard.
At the county level, Republican voters will decide who fill the shoes of Treasurer Bill LeFew, County Clerk Katherine Schultz,and Sheriff Keith Nygren, none of whom are seeking re-election. Chief Deputy Treasurer Glenda Miller and Crystal Lake City Council member Jeff Thorsen are running for treasurer, Undersheriff Andrew Zinke and former Des Plaines Police Cmdr. Bill Prim are running for sheriff, and County Board members Mary McClellan and Nick Provenzano are running for county clerk.
Republicans in four County Board districts – 1, 3, 5 and 6 – will decide who gets nominated to fill the two open seats in each district. Winners in districts 1, 3 and 5 will go on to contested November races against Democratic challengers.
Countywide voters will be asked in a referendum whether the County Board chairman should be popularly elected rather than chosen by the 24 board members.
Bond referendums will go before voters in Johnsburg District 12, the Huntley Park District, Bull Valley and Fox Lake. Voters in Algonquin will be asked whether the village can pursue electrical aggregation, and rural Nunda Township voters will be asked if the township can contract for waste disposal.
Early voting began Monday at 10 locations throughout McHenry County and runs through March 15.
Polling places can be found at:
• County Administration Building, 667 Ware Road, Woodstock: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Hours are extended to 7 p.m. on March 12.
• Algonquin Township, 3702 Route 14, Crystal Lake: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.
• Crystal Lake Municipal Complex, 100 W. Woodstock St.: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
• Huntley Park District, 12015 Mill St., Huntley: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, and 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.
• Lake in the Hills Village Hall, 600 Harvest Gate: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
• McHenry City Hall, 333 S. Green St.: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
• McHenry Township, 3703 N. Richmond Road, Johnsburg: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, and 8:30 a.m. to noon March 15.
• Nunda Township, 3510 Bay Road, Crystal Lake: 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays and March 15.
• Dunham Township, 107 Airport Road, Harvard: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturdays.
• Marengo City Hall, 132 E. Prairie St.: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays.