Here's what to know about mail-in ballots, early voting and candidates ahead of elections

Susan Meister exits Springfield High School after voting in the primary on June 28, 2022.
Susan Meister exits Springfield High School after voting in the primary on June 28, 2022.

Election Day is fast approaching in Illinois and voters will cast their ballots for candidates seeking state and federal offices. While gubernatorial and congressional races make up the top of the ballot, voters will get their opportunity to select county officials as well.

Election Day is Nov. 8, but when does early voting begin?

Those wishing to vote before Nov. 8 will have that opportunity starting on Thursday, Sept. 29, when local election offices open for early voting. In Sangamon County, voters can visit the election office at 200 S. Ninth St. Room 101 in Springfield on Mondays through Fridays between Sept. 29 and Oct. 28. Saturdays Oct. 15, 22, and 29 will also have voting hours between 9 a.m. and noon.

Related:Springfield organizations mobilize to get women out for early voting

The University of Illinois at Springfield will be a temporary early voting location starting Monday, Oct. 31 and going through Friday, Nov. 4 for select precincts. Only voters in Capital 14, 37, 92, 93 and 99; and Woodside 2 precincts can cast ballots early at the UIS Student Union building from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

That same week, the county election office will have extended voting hours including the weekend. Voters will have from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the week, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday to vote early between Oct. 31 and Nov. 6. The last day of early voting is Monday, Nov. 7, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

How do I register to vote by mail?

Early voting can also be done by mail, now permanently due to the passage of Senate Bill 825. Among several provisions of the legislation, election offices were ordered to send vote-by-mail applications by Aug. 10 — a process that Sangamon County Clerk Don Gray said led to approximately 134,000 Sangamon County voters receiving an application.

Through the county election office, there are also several options to secure a vote-by-mail application whether at the office, over-the-phone or electronically. The applications are available until Nov. 3, and ballots will be mailed out starting Sept. 29.

These ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and will be counted up until two weeks after the election.

Who and what is on my ballot?

As Gray explained, ballots will look different for voters dependent on their polling location. Still, all voters will have their choice for several local, state, and federal offices:

Federal offices

  • U.S. senator (Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Republican Kathi Salvi)

  • U.S. representatives for the 13th District, which includes Springfield, Decatur and Champaign (Democrat Nikki Budzinski and Republican Regan Deering)

  • 15th District, which includes Taylorville, Petersburg, Jacksonville and Lincoln. (Rep. Mary Miller, R-Oakland, and Democrat Paul Lange)

More news:Nikki Budzinski wins Democratic bid for 13th Congressional District, will face Regan Deering

State offices

  • Governor and lieutenant governor (Democratic ticket Gov. JB Pritzker and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton and Republican ticket state Sen. Darren Bailey and Stephanie Trussell)

  • Attorney general (Democratic Attorney General Kwame Raoul and Republican Thomas Devore)

  • Secretary of State (Democrat Alexi Giannoulias and Republican Dan Brady)

  • Comptroller (Democrat Susana Mendoza and Republican Shannon Teresi)

  • Treasurer (Democrat Michael Frerichs and Republican Tim Demmer)

  • State senator 44th district (Republican Sen. Sally Turner, no Democratic candidate)

  • State senator 48th district (Democrat Sen. Doris Turner, Republican Rep. Sandy Hamilton)

  • State senator 54th district (Republican Sen. Steve McClure, no Democratic candidate)

  • State representative for the 87th district (Republican William Hauter, no Democratic candidate)

  • State representative for the 95th district (Republican Rep. Tim Butler, no Democratic candidate)

  • State representative for the 96th district (Democrat Sue Scherer, Republican Lisa Smith)

  • State representative for the 108th district (Republican Wayne Rosenthal, no Democratic candidate)

  • Candidates for regional school superintendent also file with the state board of elections.

More news:Democrat Gov. JB Pritzker, Republican Darren Bailey to battle for Illinois governor

Amendment 1, or the Illinois Right to Collective Bargaining Measure, will also be on the ballot this election. According to Ballotpedia, a "yes" vote on Amendment 1 would permit workers to collectively bargain for "wages, hours, and working conditions, and to protect their economic welfare and safety at work."

More news:Analysis: Rep. Mary Miller's appeal to Trump supporters pushed her to primary win

County offices

  • County clerk (Republican Don Gray, no Democratic candidate)

  • County sheriff (Republican Jack Campbell, no Democratic candidate)

  • County treasurer (Democrat Daniel Pittman and Republican Joe Aiello)

  • County board for all 29 districts

  • Precinct committeeperson for all 180 precincts in Sangamon County.

The Republicans hold a majority on the county board and, with many uncontested races, should continue that trend. There are 20 uncontested races of the 29 in total- 13 of the vacancies being Democrats.

The deadline to file as a write-in candidate has already passed.

How do I find my polling location?

There are 102 polling locations in the city of Springfield and more than 75 polling places excluding the city in towns like Auburn, Chatham and Rochester.

The Voter Identification Card will tell voters where their specific polling location is, but there are still options in case that card has been misplaced. The county office can help secure a replacement card by visiting the office, sending an email to, or completing a form online.

These locations will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, which will be recognized as a state holiday and closing schools. Voters at 7 p.m. will still be able to cast their ballots.

Ballots can also be dropped off at two secure drop boxes, one being on the southside of the county builidng and another at the Sangamon County Juvenile/Regional Office of Education at 2201 S. Dirksen Parkway, until 7 p.m. on Election Day.

What is a typical local turnout for the midterms?

If the last midterm election is any measure, turnout in Sangamon County should be much higher than the June primary. In 2018, 64.19% of the 135,830 registered voters in the county, cast their ballot — compared to 21.5% in the most recent election.

According to the Illinois State Board of Elections, the state's 21.68% turnout for the primary was the second-lowest in 40 years.

Contact Patrick Keck: 312-549-9340,,

This article originally appeared on State Journal-Register: Election Day 2022 in Illinois: All you need to know before voting