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Metro East Voter Guide: What to know about Illinois' 2024 primary

Voting election illustration
Nat Thomas
St. Louis Public Radio
Illinois’ primary election day is March 19, but early voting is already underway. Here is key information on how to vote and what to expect on your ballot.

In addition to making their choice for their party's presidential nominee on March 19, Metro East voters will determine which local candidates advance to the general election in November.

Early voting is already underway, and the Illinois State Election Board website can help you find the early voting site in your county. If you experience any issues at the polls, whether it’s voter intimidation or technical glitches, email us at feedback@stlpr.org.

On primary day, polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Residents can also vote via a mail-in ballot by contacting the county clerk or local election commission.

To see which candidates will be on your ballot, use this tool by Chicago Public Media:

Do I need a voter ID?

In Illinois, you don’t need to show identification to vote, but you must verify your signature. If you registered to vote by mail and did not submit any ID with the registration, you must show a form of ID to vote. (Check out our Illinois voter guide for details on how to register to vote ahead of the general election in November.)

Acceptable forms include:

  • A current and valid photo ID
  • Utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • Government check
  • Paycheck
  • Lease or contract for residence
  • Student ID and mail addressed to voter's residence
  • Government document

We've compiled a list of key races in the Metro East that STLPR will be watching closely, along with other resources to help inform your vote. We’ll continue to expand this guide as we get closer to election day.

Illinois’ 12th Congressional District

The GOP primary for Illinois’ 12th Congressional District will be the first true test for Illinois U.S. Rep. Mike Bost’s party during his nine years in Washington. Bost, R-Murphysboro, last faced a primary opponent in 2018 when the longtime lawmaker cruised to victory with nearly 84% of the vote.

However, this year former GOP gubernatorial nominee and former state legislator Darren Bailey is trying to unseat Bost. Former President Donald Trump endorsed Bost over Bailey in February, saying Bost had represented the people of southern Illinois well.

Get to know the leading candidates’ stances on our Politically Speaking podcast:

The winner of the high-profile GOP matchup will likely go on to win the November general election because of the district's strong conservative leanings. The Democratic primary race is between Preston Gabriel Nelson, of Lebanon, and Brian Roberts, of Carbondale.

Illinois’ 13th Congressional District

U.S. Rep. Nikki Budzinski, D-Springfield, is once again running to represent the Democratic-leaning 13th Congressional District and doesn’t have a challenger in the primary election. But Republican voters have two options in the Illinois primary to represent the GOP in the general election.

Thomas Clatterbuck is a law student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Joshua Loyd is an entrepreneur and Army veteran. They will face off in the March 19 primary for the GOP nomination. The Illinois Republican Party said it is staying neutral in the contest between Clatterbuck and Loyd.

Madison County Board Chair (Republican)

Republican Madison County Board Chair Kurt Prenzler is being challenged by Madison County Treasurer Chris Slusser in the GOP primary for the seat.

Madison County Circuit Clerk (Republican)

State Senate: 58th District (Republican)

State House: 110th District (Republican)

Belleville News-Democrat, a news partner of St. Louis Public Radio, contributed to this guide. 

Lara is the Engagement Editor at St. Louis Public Radio.