Election Day Polling Place Hours
6 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Illinois offers early voting for the primary from March 3rd to March 15th and for the general election from October 20th through November 1st. Contact your County Elections Official for information about location and times or visit the State Board of Election website.
Primary Election 2014: February 18, 2014
Regular Voter Registration Deadline for 2014 General Election: October 7, 2014
Grace Period Registration Deadline for 2014 General Election Deadline: November 1, 2014
The regular voter registration deadline in Illinois is October 7, 2014. Illinois also has a grace period for late registrants or for voters to update their information. During the "Grace Period," which runs from October 8 through November 1, 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).
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.
How to Check Registration
Contact your County Elections Official
If You Want to Vote Early
Any voter in Illinois can vote early. Early voting begins the twenty- second day before the election up to and including the fifth day before the election. Early Voting Dates for 2014 General Election: October 20th through November 1st.
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 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 40 days before the election (September 25, 2014 for the November general election). Absentee applications by mail must be received 5 days before the election (October 30, 2014 for the November general election). In person absentee ballots can be cast up to 1 day before the election (November 3, 2014 for the November general 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.
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:
Early Voting Identification Requirements: If a voter votes during the early voting period then he/she must provide either an Illinois driver's license, non-driver identification card issued by the Illinois Secretary of State, or another government-issued identification document containing the applicant's photograph.
If the voter has moved within 30 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.
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. Instructions for doing so are found on the FVAP's Illinois-specific FPCA page.
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.
For more information, visit the Illinois State Board of Elections website,
For more information for voters with mental disabilities, visit The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law and National Disability Rights Network’s document: “Voting Rights Guide for People with Mental Disabilities”
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
Conducting a Voter Registration Drive in your state? Here are some resources.