You can now cast your ballot in the Illinois primary.
Off-site locations opened today throughout Rock Island County.
Local 4’s Krista Burris spoke with party leaders about their expectations for the election.
The primary races are heating up in Illinois.
Other states, including Iowa, have already held primaries or caucuses for presidential candidates.
Now, the people of Illinois have their shot.
The Republican county election chair says the Super Tuesday vote could have an impact here.
“Everyday when new information comes out and people are pointing fingers at each other and it’s gotten kind of out of hand with some of that. I’d rather see them talking, and I think we’d all rather see them talking about the issues,” Rock Island County GOP Election Chair Kim Lazenby.
Presidential years usually mean higher turnout for primaries.
Porter McNeil of the County Democratic Party, says some people are very interested in the local races, such as circuit court clerk and State Representative for the 72nd district.
“It’s not just local elections that increase turnout, but the local races in Rock Island County will also generate extra votes,” said McNeil.
The Rock Island County clerk says they appreciate the people who vote early.
It eases traffic on election day, and voters don’t have to wait as long to cast a ballot.
“The difference between election day the time it takes to vote and the difference if you vote early is probably, I would say any where from a half hour to 45 minutes difference,” said Kinney.
Local party leaders say before you head to the polls, take a step back and consider what each of the candidates stand for.
“Look at their websites, don’t just rely on the news and what you read in the paper, or hear, especially with some of the larger cable stations,” said Lazenby.
“Don’t just rely on mail pieces and outside influences from PACs that like to spend money and try to influence local elections. Do homework yourself,” said McNeil.
The county clerk says they’re hoping for a bigger turnout this year, which typically falls between 30 and 40 percent.
There are a few early voting locations in Rock Island County.
You can find them at the Moline Public Library and Western Illinois University, Silvis City Council Chambers and the Milan Municipal Building until March 11th.
There is also a polling station at the Rock Island County Building available until March 14th.
If you wait until Election Day, you have to use your local polling location.