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The March 15 Illinois primary election may miss the hype of the preceding primaries, but the attrition of candidates or perhaps just the passage of time seems to have intensified intra-party back-biting as well as cross-party vilification. The recent death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia apparently raised the stakes, as Republicans and Democrats train their eyes on the lifetime appointment of a new Supreme Court Justice as well as on a maximum of eight years of presidency.
In addition to the presidential race, there are strong challenges in the Democratic primary for Cook County State’s Attorney, where incumbent Anita Alvarez hopes to hold on to her position. In both major parties there are candidates for the United States Senate, where incumbent Mark Kirk is seeking re-election.
Before the Primary
Early voting here begins Feb. 29 and ends March 14, the day before the Primary Election. Evanston residents can vote 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sun. at the Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave. Voters must bring proof of residence with their current address, which may include a driver’s license, a voter registration card, a copy of the registration form from the Clerk’s office or a utility bill, if the photo ID does not have the current address.
March 10 is the last day to request a mail ballot; it is no longer necessary to provide a reason when requesting a mail ballot. To obtain an application to vote by mail, registered suburban Cook County voters can do one of the following:
• Download and print the mail ballot application (applications are also available in Spanish, Hindi and Chinese).
• Call the Clerk’s office at 312-603-0946 to request mailing of an application.
• Pick one up at any of the Clerk’s six office locations.
The last day to apply for a mail ballot is five days before the election. Applications may be submitted by mail, or online by going to www.cookcountyclerk.com/VoteByMail.
March 14 is also the last day of grace-period registration and voting. Registration is open at the Clerk’s office in the Morton Civic Center weekdays. Identification and proof of residency are required.
On Election Day, March 15, polls will be open in Evanston 6 a.m.- 7 p.m. Voters who are not sure where to vote can go to cookcountyclerk.com/elections and fill in their name and address to find their polling place.
The Presidential Primary
Although some candidates have dropped out of the race, their names may still be on the ballot. In the Democratic Primary Election the following candidates’ names appear on the ballot for president of the United States: Hillary Clinton, Willie L. Wilson, Martin J. O’Malley, Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente, Larry (Lawrence) Cohen and Bernie Sanders.
The following candidates’ names appear as candidates for president of the United States on the Republican ballot: Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Donald J. Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, John R. Kasich and Ben Carson.
Andrea Zopp, Tammy Duckworth, and Napoleon Harris are Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate. On the Republican side, James T. Marter is challenging incumbent Senator Mark Steven Kirk.
No one is opposing Democrat incumbent Janice Schakowsky, who is seeking to keep her seat as representative from the Ninth Congressional District. Joan McCarthy Lasonde, the Republican candidate, is also unopposed in the primary election.
Illinois General Assembly
Democrat incumbents Laura Fine, 17th District, and Robyn Gabel, 18th District, are each unopposed in the Primary Election. Jessica Tucker is running unopposed for the 18th District seat in the Republican primary; there is no Republican candidate for the 17th District seat.
At the county level, Democrat Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown faces challenges from Jacob Meister and Michelle A. Harris. The Republican candidate for Circuit Court Clerk is Diane S. Shapiro. Karen A. Yarbrough is the Democrat candidate for Cook County Recorder of Deeds, Republicans have put up no candidate for that position.
Democrat Anita Alvarez, the current State’s Attorney, is being challenged by Kim Foxx and Donna More. The Republican candidate for State’s Attorney is Christopher E.K. Pfannkuche.
Also on the Ballot
Voters will also be able to vote for three candidates for the board of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and for several judicial candidates.
Two Evanston residents, Thomas Cushing and Jerry Esrig, are running for judge, though in different races. Mr. Esrig is running against Thomas Peter Kougias in the 9th Judicial Subcircuit for the position vacated by Judge Berman. Mr. Cushing faces Judge Aleksandra ‘Alex’ Gillespie to fill the vacancy left by Judge Howlett.
Candidates of the Green Party and the Libertarian Party, as well as several independents are also running for president. It is also possible for voters to write in a candidate.