PRINCETON – The March 18, 2014, general primary election may be several months away, but the candidate filing period is fast approaching.
Bureau County Clerk Kami Hieronymus has announced the filing period for the primary election is Nov. 25 through Dec. 2, though her office will be closed both Nov. 28 and Nov. 29 for the Thanksgiving holiday. Her office will remain open for candidate filing until 5 p.m. on Dec. 2, the last filing day.
Though the filing period is just weeks away, it’s still not too late for interested persons to pick up candidate packets from her office, Hieronymus said. Packets will be available throughout the filing period.
The local election will include political party nominations for the Bureau County treasurer position, the county clerk position, and the Bureau County sheriff’s position. Also political parties will decide their candidates for 13 of the 26 Bureau County Board districts.
Those county board seats, and the persons currently holding them, are as follows: District 1, Robin Rediger; District 3, Jim Donarski; District 4, Jeff Mangrich; District 6, Derek Whited; District 7, Marshann Entwhistle; District 8, Kristi Warren; District 9, Loretta Volker; District 13, Dan Rabe; District 17, James Thompson; District 18, Mike Kohr; District 20, Tom Giordano; District 21, Deb Feeney; and District 26, Connie Stetson.
The political party nominations for the Regional Superintendent of Schools will also be decided at the March primary. Candidates for that race will file at the state level, Hieronymus said.
Precinct committeemen positions will be elected at the March 18, 2014, primary election.
Statewide elections will include those for U.S. senator, governor/lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, comptroller and treasurer. Also to be determined are the representatives for U.S. Congress and the Illinois General Assembly.
Looking at voter turnout, Hieronymus said voter turnout is typically lower for primary elections due in part because some voters don’t want to declare a political party. Currently, Bureau County has 23,919 registered voters, but voter turnout for the last primary was about 35 percent.
Records posted on the Bureau County Clerk website show the number of registered voters in the county, voter turnout and election races since 1980. According to those records, Bureau County has seen a decreasing number of registered voters for the county.
Some of that decrease is due to the Help America Vote Act which has helped states clean up their registration records of active and inactive voters and to make sure records are current and accurate, Hieronymus said. Also, there has been some decline in the county’s population through the years, she said.
However, most people in the county who are eligible to vote are registered to vote, Hieronymus said.
“Getting people registered to vote is not so much the problem, but rather getting them to the polls to vote,” Hieronymus said. “The focus has got to be on the turnout.”
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