Illinois Elections

Get all the info you need

Your State

Upcoming Elections

2016 Presidential Preference Primary and Congressional/State Primary: Tuesday, March 15

  • Voter Registration Deadline: February 16

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8

  • Voter Registration Deadline: October 11

For more information, visit the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Please note that the information in the sections below has not been updated, and refers to the 2015 general election.


More state specific election info below.

Voting Rights

News

Welcome to the First Presidential Election Since Voting Rights Act Gutted
06/26/16 |
Publication Date: 
Sunday, June 26, 2016 - 03:00
Excerpt: 

- by Ari Berman

Three years ago this week, in Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court invalidated the centerpiece of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, ruling that states with the longest histories of voting discrimination no longer needed to approve their voting changes with the federal government. "The Supreme Court stuck a dagger into the heart of the Voting Rights Act," Lewis said after the decision.

That means the 2016 election is the first presidential contest in 50 years without the full protections of the VRA — and the country is witnessing the greatest rollback of voting rights since the act was passed five decades ago.

This year, 17 states have new voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election cycle, including laws that make it harder to register to vote, cut back early voting and require strict forms of government-issued IDs to cast a ballot that millions of Americans don't have.

These states comprise 189 electoral votes — nearly half of the Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency — and include crucial swing states like Ohio, Wisconsin and Virginia. 

There were 21 presidential debates during the primaries but not a single question was asked about voting rights. This remains one of the most important yet least discussed issues in 2016. Before anyone votes in November, there's a huge struggle underway that will decide how many eligible voters will be able to cast a ballot.

 

Kansas to Use Provisional Ballots for Upcoming Elections
06/23/16 |
Publication Date: 
Thursday, June 23, 2016 - 17:00
Excerpt: 

In an effort to comply with a federal court order requiring that Kansas allow people who registered to vote at the DMV without providing proof of citizenship to vote for federal office in upcoming elections, Secretary of State Kris Kobach is planning to use provisional ballots and then throw out all of the votes for state and local races cast by the thousands of voters who register to vote at motor vehicle offices without providing proof of citizenship.

"The state had a similar process in place in the 2014 elections in which a few hundred voters who registered with a federal form were affected. But implementing it in the upcoming elections is estimated to affect as many as 50,000 who registered to vote when they got their driver's licenses without providing the citizenship documentation.

Clint Blaes, spokesman for Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, said the attorney general's office has not yet received any proposed regulations from Kobach, but would review them in the same manner as any other proposed regulation.

"The secretary of state is representing himself in this lawsuit," Blaes said. "Therefore, the attorney general is not involved in either the lawsuit or the operation of the secretary of state's office."

Here Are Your Candidates

Election Reminders

Don't miss any important deadlines.

You Rock!

We'll be in touch and see you at the polls!

OR TEXT "ROCK" TO 788683

Msg & Data Rates May Apply. Text STOP to opt out or HELP for help. Expect 1 to 2 msgs/mo. Privacy Policy

Voting as a Student

As a student, you have a constitutional right to register and vote in the place you truly consider to be “home” — whether that’s your parents’ house, your apartment, or your dorm room. But before you make the important decision about where to vote, make sure you know the voting rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state.

More Info On Student Voting

Illinois Election Info

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2016 Presidential Preference Primary and Congressional/State Primary: Tuesday, March 15

  • Voter Registration Deadline: February 16

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8

  • Voter Registration Deadline: October 11

For more information, visit the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Please note that the information in the sections below has not been updated, and refers to the 2015 general election.

Election Day Polling Place Hours

6 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Early Voting

Any voter in Illinois can vote early.  Early voting begins the fifteenth day before the election up to and including the third day before the election. 

Note that a voter must present government-issued photo ID to early vote. For the 2015 Chicago municipal elections, Grace Period voter registration is available March 11 – April 4, 2015. Two forms of identification are required, with at least one showing a voter’s current address. From March 23 to April 4, 2015 Grace Period registration will be offered at any early voting location. Eearly voting will be available from March 23, 2015 through April 4, 2015, Monday-Saturday 9 AM-5 PM. Five regional sites will offer Sunday early voting, 9 AM – 3 PM. Voters can use any early voting location across the city (there are 51 locations total). Find out more information on the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.

Contact your County Elections Official for information about location and times or visit the State Board of Election website.

How to Find Your Polling Place

Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE or use this Illinois online polling place lookup tool.

Alternatively, contact your county clerk to inquire about your polling place.

REGISTER TO VOTE HERE

Already registered? Verify your voter registration status.


Registration Deadlines

Registration is closed during the 27 days prior to an election.

  Illinois also has a grace period for late registrants or for voters to update their information.  During the "Grace Period," which runs from the normal close of registration until the 3rd day before an election, voters can register or update their registration at the site designated by their county board of elections.  A voter who registers or changes address during the Grace Period may only vote during the grace period, either in person in the office of the election authority (or at a location specifically designated for this purpose by the election authority) or by mail (offering grace period voting by mail is done at the discretion of the election authority).   

How to Check if You Are Registered

Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE or use this online registration lookup tool.

Alternatively, Contact your County Elections Official.

How to Register

Online

You may register to vote using the Illinois online form.

In-Person

You may also register to vote in person at any of the following locations:

  • County Clerk’s Office;
  • Board of Elections Commissioner’s Office;
  • Local Government Offices;
  • Schools;
  • Public Libraries;
  • Military Recruitment Offices;
  • Driver’s License Facilities;
  • Department of Healthcare and Family Services;
  • Department of Employment Security; and
  • Public Assistance Agencies.
By Mail

You may complete and submit the Illinois Voter Registration Application to your County Clerk or Board of Elections Commissioner.  The application is available in English and Spanish

Registration Eligibility

In order to register to vote in Illinois, you MUST be:

  • A U.S. citizen;
  • At least 18 years old by Election Day; and
  • A resident of your precinct at least 30 days before Election Day.


Identification Required for Registration

If a voter registers in person, they must bring two forms of identification, including at least one demonstrating the current residence address.  Acceptable forms of ID include but are not limited to: driver's license, the voter's social security card, public aid identification card, utility bill, employee or student identification card, credit card, or a civic, union or professional association membership card.

If a voter is registering by mail on an Illinois state voter registration application, sufficient proof of identity is required by submission of the voter’s driver's license number or State identification card number.  If the voter does not have either of those, the voter is required to submit the last 4 digits of the voter’s social security number.  If the voter does not have any of these, then the voter should submit with their mailed voter registration form a copy of a current and valid photo identification, or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document that shows your name and address will be required.  A person may also demonstrate sufficient proof of identity by submission of a photo identification issued by a college or university accompanied by either a copy of the applicant's contract or lease for a residence or any postmarked mail delivered to the applicant at his or her current residence address.  

If You Want to Vote Early

Any voter in Illinois can vote early.  Early voting begins the fifteenth day before the election up to and including the third day before the election.  

The early voting centers are designated by the local election authority. Contact the local County Elections Official for information about location and times or visit the State Board of Election website.  If you register and vote during the Grace Period, you cannot vote again at an early voting location. Remember that voters must present a government-issued photo ID to use early voting.

If You Want to Vote Absentee

In Illinois, voters may apply for and cast an absentee ballot without specifying a reason.  Applications can be made by mail (within the U.S.) or in-person beginning 90 days before the election.  Absentee applications by mail must be received 5 days before the election.  Applications must be sent to your county elections authority.  In person absentee ballots can be cast up to 1 day before the election. 

Military and overseas voters are subject to different deadlines.  For more information visit the Illinois State Board of Elections website of the Illinois Information page of the Federal Voting Assistance Program. 

Identification Requirements to Register to Vote

If a voter registers in person, they must bring two forms of identification, including at least one demonstrating the current residence address.  Acceptable forms of ID include but are not limited to: driver's license, the voter's social security card, public aid identification card, utility bill, employee or student identification card, credit card, or a civic, union or professional association membership card.

If a voter is registering by mail on an Illinois state voter registration application, sufficient proof of identity is required by submission of the voter’s driver's license number or State identification card number.  If the voter does not have either of those, the voter is required to submit the last 4 digits of the voter’s social security number.  If the voter does not have any of these, then the voter should submit with their mailed voter registration form a copy of a current and valid photo identification, or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document that shows your name and address will be required.  A person may also demonstrate sufficient proof of identity by submission of a photo identification issued by a college or university accompanied by either a copy of the applicant's contract or lease for a residence or any postmarked mail delivered to the applicant at his or her current residence address. 

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

Generally, no identification is required to vote at the polls.  However, if a voter registered to vote by mail for the first time in his or her jurisdiction and did not provide the required identification with the mail-in registration application, then he/she must submit one of the following at the polling place:

  • A current and valid photo identification;
  • Utility bill;
  • Bank statement;
  • Government check;
  • Paycheck; or
  • Government document.

These documents must show the voter's name and address.

Early Voting Identification Requirements

Voters must present a government-issued photo ID to early vote.

If the voter has moved within 27 days of the election within the same precinct, he or she can vote a full ballot by signing an affidavit. 

If the voter moved within 30 days before the election to a new precinct, and did not transfer his or her registration, the voter can vote a full ballot at the old polling place after completing an affidavit.

If the voter moved more than 30 days before the election within the same election jurisdiction (i.e. same county or municipality), but to a new precinct, and did not transfer his or her registration, the voter can vote on a ballot for federal office only after completing an address correction form.

If the voter moved more than 30 days before the election to a new county (or municipality under a board of election commissioners) and did not transfer his or her registration, they cannot vote. 

If a voter moved up to and including 3 days before an election, the voter can update their address using Grace Period registration, but must vote at a Grace Period registration or early voting location.

Election Day Registration is NOT available for the April 7, 2015 municipal election in Chicago, or other local elections around the state.

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), also known as Standard Form 76, to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot.  Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) Illinois-specific page.

Military and overseas citizens can send and receive voting materials by fax and email.  If you wish to use the fax or email options, you must indicate this on your FPCA. A hard copy with your original signature must be received by your election authority, even if you chose to fax or email your ballot.  Instructions for doing so are found on the FVAP's Illinois-specific FPCA page.

Your ballot must be postmarked no later than midnight prior to the opening of the polls. Election authorities must receive the completed ballot within two weeks after the election. 

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) if they are concerned with receiving their printed ballot and returning it by the 7:00 p.m., Election Day deadline.  The FWAB is a blank ballot on which voters write-in their choices.  The FWAB may also be used  to register to vote and to apply for the absentee ballot, all in one step.  If the FWAB is being used to register to vote, it must be received by the voter registration deadline.  For specific instructions, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's Illinois-specific FWAB page.

Illinois residents are not eligible to vote if they have been convicted of any crime in Illinois, another state, or any federal court, and are serving a sentence of confinement in any penal institution.   Confinement includes persons granted a furlough or admitted to a work release program but does not include situations in which a person is convicted and imprisoned but released on parole.  Voting rights are restored upon completion of a person’s sentence, and a person may re-register to vote following his or her sentence.

For more information, visit the Illinois State Board of Elections website.

FAQ

Top Issues to Field **not updated since 2014**

For more information for voters with disabilities, visit the National Disability Rights Network’s voting resource center

For more information for student voters, visit the Illinois Student Voting Guide from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

2016 Election Information for your state