Early voting will begin on Monday, March 3 for the March 18, 2014Gubernatorial Primary Election, Cook County Clerk David Orr announcedFriday.

Nearly 500 candidates are on the ballot for 369 races in Cook County, which include primaries for U.S. Senator and Illinois Governor, countywide offices, judges and township committeemen. There are also a handful of local referenda on the ballot.

Voters do not register by party in Illinois, but voters must choose a party when casting a ballot in a primary election.

There are 42 suburban Cook County early voting locations, plus the Clerk’s downtown office. All sites are open MondayFriday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Many locations are also open on Saturday, and a handful are open on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Early voting ends March 15.

State law requires early voters to display valid identification to an election official before receiving a ballot to vote early. Valid forms of ID include: a current driver’s license, state-issued ID card or another government-issued ID with a photograph.

A complete candidate listreferenda questions and write-in candidates are available on the clerk’s website. A map of Early Voting locations can be found on the Elections Page of the website.

Voting by mail is another convenient way to vote before Election Day. Applyonline or via a mobile device for a mail ballot and vote from home. The last day to request a mail ballot is March 13. After voting, you must mail your ballot. To be counted, mail ballots must be postmarked by March 17.

Chicago voters must vote at a Chicago early voting site.

Suburban Cook County participation in early voting has grown steadily in primary elections from 4.5 percent when it was introduced in March 2006 to 11.2 percent in March 2012.

  • March 2012 Primary – 36,972 of 329,537 (11.2% of turnout)
  • February 2010 Primary  – 34,829 of 367,688 (9.5% of turnout)
  • February 2008 Primary – 51,116 of 585,449 (8.7% of turnout)
  • March 2006 Primary – 15,609 of 345,970 (4.5% of turnout)

Historic voter turnout results in primary elections can be found on the Clerk’s website. Details on mail voting, plus sample ballots, directions to Early Voting locations and candidate information can be found at