Lesson 6 - The Election Process
In Illinois, candidates running for office can get their names on the ballot in several ways.
The most well-known method for nominating candidates is known as the Primary Election. This is when the political parties select their candidates. Voters get the opportunity to choose from candidates seeking nomination. Qualified citizens who want to run for office usually need to file a petition signed by a determined number of qualified voters. Illinois uses a Closed Primary. This means each political party's candidates are listed on a separate ballot. Voters must declare their party affiliation and only receive one political party's ballot showing all the candidates running from that party.
Another method is known as the Party Caucus. With this method, the regularly-elected leaders of a party call a meeting to choose who they want as their party's candidates for the various offices.
Finally, candidates can be nominated by Party Convention. The county central committee of a party will hold a county convention and choose delegates to a state convention. State conventions are then held where delegates are selected to the national convention for the party.