BLOOMINGTON — McLean County voters will need to wait a little longer to weigh in on party nominations this spring for races ranging from County Board to governor to Congress.
Early voting for the March 20 primary, which was scheduled to begin Thursday, could instead start Feb. 20 due to legal challenges related to the candidacy of State Rep. Scott Drury for state attorney general, said Bloomington Election Commission Executive Director Paul Shannon.
"Early voting will be delayed awaiting a final decision by the court," according to a release from the BEC and McLean County clerk's office. "Election authorities anticipate that ballots will be available by Feb. 20, by which time challenges to a candidate's placement on the ballot should be determined and the official ballot and voting equipment prepared."
"Should the (legal) decision be made prior to Feb. 20, ballots may be ready sooner," the release continued. "In the interim, any voters who arrive at (our) offices will be provided with an application to vote by mail."
McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael said early voting is usually slow for the first two weeks anyway, but she remains concerned about how long the legal dispute will continue.
"If the courts don’t move, all of us ... are going to have to say, 'How many times do we wait?'" she said. "I’m hoping for Friday for the decision."
The BEC handles voting for city residents, and the clerk's office handles voting for residents of all other areas in the county, including Normal. Both election offices are in the Government Center, 115 E. Washington St., Bloomington, in rooms 403 and 102, respectively.
Weekday early voting hours are set at 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until March 9, with early voting not available on weekends during that period.
After March 9, downtown hours are 8:30 a.m. to noon March 10; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 11; 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 12 to 16; 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 17; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 18; and 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 19.
Early voting also will be offered at Illinois State University's Bone Student Center, 100 N. University St., Normal, in the Founders Suite. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 5 to 9 and March 12 to 16.