Guide to Voting
1. Voter registration
Deadline to Register/update:
By Mail: October 6, 2020
Online: October 18, 2020
Grace Period Registration: Oct 6 – Nov 1
- You can register at your county’s election office, or the Chicago Board of Elections, if you live in Chicago. Research where you can register in your county during this period.
- A list of locations can be found here:
Online Link to Application: https://ova.elections.il.gov/
2. Check Your registration
Why check your registration? Your address is where election officials send notices, application forms to receive your ballot in the mail, and more. Additionally, poll workers will check if the address on your voter registration matches the address on your ID at the polls.
Check and Update Registration Here: https://ova.elections.il.gov/RegistrationLookup.aspx
- Is your name spelled correctly? (Correct hyphenations, middle initials, etc)
- Correct Address
- Active Voter Status (if not update by sending in another online/mail voter application)
- Correct Date of Birth
- Correct Political Party preference
3. Order your mail ballot
Deadline for absentee mail ballot application: Must be received by October 29, 2020
We recommend requesting your absentee mail ballot as soon as possible and well in advance of this deadline in order to ensure that you receive your ballot in time.
Request Mail-In Ballot Here:
Deadline to return absentee mail Ballot: november 3, 2020
Surrendering Your Absentee Ballot:
Illinois has the Surrender Rule. If you want to vote in person on Election Day but you applied to vote via absentee ballot, then you should bring your ballot to surrender and then vote in person. If you do not have your absentee ballot to surrender, there does not seem to be an electronic poll book in Illinois that will allow you to vote with an official ballot, and you will be forced to vote with a provisional ballot.
If you could not apply for a mail ballot by the Oct. 29, 2020 deadline, OR, if you apply and did not receive your mail ballot, OR, if you lose the ballot, OR, if you cannot return the ballot with a postmark of Nov. 3 or earlier:
- Call 312-269-7967 on or before Thurs., October 29, 2020 to alert (Chicago-specific); or
- Use Early Voting through Mon., November 2, 2020; OR
- Deliver your ballot in the envelope in person by 7 p.m. on November 3rd, 2020 at the Election Board at 69 W. Washington St., Sixth Floor (Chicago-specific); OR
- Cancel your mail ballot and receive and cast an Election Day ballot at the polling place assigned to your precinct on Tues., Nov. 3.
- If the voter has the mail ballot, that ballot should be surrendered to the election judges [at their polling place].
- If the voter does not receive the mail ballot, the voter may ask for the Form 1 affidavit and check that the voter never received the ballot.
- If the voter DID receive the ballot but does not bring the ballot to the polling place – OR – if the records indicate the voter already voted, the voter may ask to cast a provisional ballot.
4. Early voting information
- Oct 19, 2020 – Nov 2, 2020. Permanent early voting sites must be open from 15 days prior to Election Day until 9 days prior to Election Day from 8:30AM/9:00AM until 4:30PM/5:00PM. From 8 days prior to Election Day until the day before Election Day, the poll site must be open until 7:00PM on weekdays, from 9:00AM to noon on Saturdays, and from 10AM-4PM on Sundays.
- Election authorities can also set up temporary poll sites, and they have discretion to determine the hours and locations of those poll sites. The number of poll sites a county must establish depend on the size of county.
- You can download a pdf of the “Early Voting Pamphlet” on the Illinois State Board of Elections website: https://www.elections.il.gov/. Select the “Information for Voters” tab, Under the “Voters Information” heading in the dropdown click on “early Voting Pamphlet” to download.
- For more information regarding federal, state and local elections contact Illinois State Board of Elections online: https://www.elections.il.gov. Springfield Office: 217.782.4141 or Chicago Office: 312.814.6440
5. Be a poll worker
- Become a poll worker! Election offices are expecting shortages in poll workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Poll workers must be 16 years old or over, and a registered voter (if over 18) in their county
- Contact your county’s Registrar for information on how to sign up:
6. Additional Questions?