URBANA, Ill. (WCIA)– Thursday will be the first day people can start gathering signatures to become candidates on the June primary ballot in Illinois. That goes for statewide and county offices.

Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons asks everyone to be prepared for an influx of people — who want to run for office — bringing a petition to their doors.

Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, Ammons asks all candidates to be masked and bring along hand sanitizer to use in between homes, not just for handwashing but for cleaning pens in between signatures.

He said he’s talked this process over with public health officials and they said as long as everyone is masked, it shouldn’t be a cause for concern.

“If we can’t get individuals to sign petitions, then you can’t get people on the ballot, you can’t have an election. So I always want the citizens and the voters to understand that their participation, their duty, extends beyond the vote,” Ammons explained.

The county clerk is up for re-election this year. Some of the other offices on the 2022 ballot in Champaign County — according to Ammons — include the sheriff, the county executive, the treasurer and every member of the Champaign County Board.

The Illinois Primary is set for June 28 this year.