ILLINOIS (WTVO) — The Illinois Primary election is less than four weeks away, and the hotly contested Republican race for governor is on the ballot.
Seats in the U.S. House and Senate, and Illinois General Assembly, are also in contention.
AARP, an organization that focuses on issues affecting people over the age of 50, offers an online voting guide for Illinois residents.
“The 50-plus population is the largest and most important voting block in the country,” said AARP’s Philippe Largent. “We are going to be the voters that decide the upcoming elections.”
The primary was originally scheduled for March but was moved so lawmakers could redraw voting maps based on the latest US Census data.
“The biggest change for Illinois voters is that we have new congressional and state legislative districts and state senate districts,” Largent continued. “Those are changed every year after reapportionment and redistricting. So, voters may see new names on their ballots when it comes time to vote.”
Voters can participate in early in-person voting now until June 27th, or can vote in-person on Election Day, or use a mail-in ballot.
“They can vote by mail. We have a ‘no-excuse’ vote policy in Illinois, so they can vote by mail. You don’t have to give an excuse as to why you want to vote by mail. It’s very easy to do. In fact, you can vote by mail, you could drop it in a drop box, you can also, literally, take your mail-in ballot to your polling place the day of the election and drop it in the box. And, your vote will be counted,” Largent said.
The deadline to register to vote online is June 12th. Illinois also permits same-day registration, which allows voters to register and cast a ballot on Election Day.
“You’re not asked to declare your party affiliation in Illinois,” Largent added. “However, you can only vote in one primary. So, keep that in mind as you’re deciding which primary (Republican or Democrat) to participate in.”
Largent said there are a number of issues the 50-plus voting block is paying attention to.
“Strengthening Social Security; making sure that Medicare…benefits are available to everyone who is eligible for them, and strengthening the program; fighting to lower the cost of prescription drugs; and to prevent [pharmecutical companies] from ripping off taxpayers and seniors through exorbitant prices and exorbitant profits,” he said.
More information is available on AARP’s website.