Q: How do I register to vote?
A: Voter eligibility requirements
You must meet these four requirements:

  • You are a U.S. citizen (native or naturalized)
  • You are at least 18 years old by November 6, 2018
  • Since October 6, 2018 you have lived at the address you listed when you registered to vote
  • You are not currently serving a term of incarceration

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Q: How do I register to vote?
A: Preferred forms of identification:

  • A current Illinois driver’s license
  • A current Illinois state identification card
A: Alternative forms of identification:
  • Illinois hunting or fishing license
  • Your Illinois school ID (high school, college or university as long as it lists your current address)
  • FOID card
  • Social security card
  • Passport
  • A copy of your lease or rent receipt showing your name and address
Photo IDs are not required by law but are preferred and you may be asked to show a photo ID. Bring one with you if you have one.

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Q: How do I register to vote?
A: Register online

Register to vote online at the Illinois State Board of Election’s website through Sunday, October 21 for the November 6, 2018 election. Starting October 22, you will have to register in-person at your election authority.

You’ll need these four things to register on-line:

  • Your valid Illinois driver’s license or Illinois state ID number
  • The last four digits of your social security number
  • The date your IL driver’s license or state ID was issued
  • Your birth date
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Q: How do I register to vote?
A: Register in-person

  • At your local election authority’s office. Find your election authority by going to the Illinois State Board of Elections' website. Once you are there, select your county or your city if you live in Chicago, Danville, Galesburg, Bloomington, East St. Louis, or Rockford. To find the name of your county in a search engine type the name of your city and state and “is in which county?” For example, “Decatur, Illinois is in which county?”
  • At drivers’ license facilities but only if you are updating or applying for a state ID or driver’s license. To find your nearest drivers’ license facility, go to the Illinois Secretary of State’s official website and type in your zip code
  • Via deputy registrars. Deputy registrars are registered voters who are trained by their election authority to register voters. Deputy registrars may come to your home or school, for example, and may be at public events

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Q: How do I register to vote?
A: Register by mail

Print your voter registration form from the Illinois State Board of Election’s official website. For identification purposes, you will be asked to provide.

  • Your valid Illinois driver’s license or
  • Illinois state ID number or
  • Last four digits of your social security number
If you do not provide this required information when you mail in your form, you will be required to provide to election officials these documents the first time you vote in person or prior to voting by mail.

You must mail your voter registration form within 28 days of an election or your local election authority will not be able to process your registration prior to the election and you will not be eligible to vote in that election.

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Q: How do I register to vote?
A: Automatic voter registration

When applying for or renewing your driver's license or identification card at a Secretary of State facility (such as a Department of Motor Vehicles facility or DMV), you will automatically be registered to vote unless you opt-out. If you don’t opt out, you will be required to sign a card in which you attest, under penalty of perjury, that you meet the qualifications to register to vote. You will be provided a receipt of your voter registration. Keep this receipt until you receive your voter registration card from your local election authority. If you do not receive your voter registration card within 30 days of application, contact your local election authority. Find your election authority by going to the Illinois State Board of Elections website.

When renewing your driver's license by phone or by mail as part of the Secretary of State's Safe Driver Renewal Program, you will be asked if you want to apply to register to vote. If you answer yes, a packet of voter registration materials will be mailed to you. If you renew your driver's license online as part of the Safe Driver Renewal Program, you will also be asked if you want to apply to register to vote. If you answer yes, you will be given two options:

  • Having a packet of voter registration materials mailed to you or
  • Register to vote online at the Illinois State Board of Election’s website through 11:59pm October 21 for the November 6, 2018 election
For more information, visit the Illinois Secretary of State’s webpage.

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Q: How do I register to vote if I am homeless?
A: In 1992, Illinois legislators passed a law that allows people who are homeless the right to register to vote without a permanent address. According to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, you are considered homeless if you are living on the street, in shelters, or doubled-up in the homes of others. Under the law, a homeless person may register to vote if he or she has two forms of identification and a mailing address. As a homeless person, you must be able to receive mail at the address provided on your voter registration form. For more information, see the National Coalition for the Homeless’ website.

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Q: How do I register to vote if I have moved or changed my last name? A: You must re-register if you changed your name since the last time you voted or if you moved.

You may re-register to vote online at the Illinois State Board of Election’s website through 11:59pm October 21 for the November 6, 2018 election. Starting October 22, you will have to register in-person at your election authority.

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Q: How do I vote?
Where is my polling place?

A: To find your polling place, call your election authority’s office. Find your election authority by going to the Illinois State Board of Elections website. Once you are there, select your county or your city if you live in Chicago, Danville, Galesburg, Bloomington, East St. Louis, or Rockford. To find the name of your county in a search engine type the name of your city and state and “is in which county?” For example, “Rantoul, Illinois is in which county?”

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Q: How do I vote by mail?
A: If you are properly registered to vote, you may apply for a vote by mail ballot.
You can get your application for a vote by mail ballot from your local election authority:

  • By mail
  • In person
  • Online (if available) from your election authority.
Find your election authority by going to the Illinois State Board of Elections website.

These applications to vote by mail may also be produced, reproduced or distributed by anyone.

Once you receive your application, you complete and return it to your local election authority. It must include your name, home address, address where you want the ballot mailed, party affiliation for a primary election, and your signature (no signature is needed if you completed your application online).

The completed application must be returned to your local election authority within the appropriate timeframe:
  • In Person: Not more than 90 days nor less than 1 day prior to the election
  • By Mail inside the US: not more than 90 days and no later than November 1, 2018
  • By Mail outside the US: not less than 30 days prior to the election to receive full ballot
OR
  • Less than 30 days prior to the election, but more than 10 days prior to the election to receive a Federal Ballot only.

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Q: How do I vote early?
A: You may vote in-person at designated early voting locations in Illinois starting September 27, 2018 and through 7pm on November 5, 2018.

To find your early voting location, contact your election authority by going to the Illinois State Board of Elections website. Once you are there, select your county or your city if you live in Chicago, Danville, Galesburg, Bloomington, East St. Louis, or Rockford. To find the name of your county in a search engine type the name of your city and state and “is in which county?” For example, “Rantoul, Illinois is in which county?”

Once you vote early, the vote you cast is final and may not be revoked.

You may register to vote and change your address at your designated early voting location.

You may also vote early by mail. See: Q: How do I vote by mail?

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Q: How do I register and vote on November 6, 2018 (Election Day)?
A:You can register and vote on Election Day. Illinois is one of 11 states and the District of Columbia that allows this.

If you live in a county with a population of 100,000 or more, you can register and vote on Election Day in one of two places:

  • At your home precinct polling place. Your local election authority assigns a polling place for your residence address.
  • At your local election authority’s office.
Note: If you are already registered to vote on Election Day, you must vote at your polling place.

To find your local election authority, go to the Illinois State Board of Elections website. Once you are there, select your county or your city if you live in Chicago, Danville, Galesburg, Bloomington, East St. Louis, or Rockford. To find the name of your county in a search engine type the name of your city and state and “is in which county?” For example, “Decatur, Illinois is in which county?”

If you live in a county with a population under 100,000, you can register and vote on Election Day at the office of your local election authority and, in some counties, at additional designated sites. To determine if you live in a county that offers additional designated sites, contact your local election authority by going to the Illinois State Board of Elections website.

To register and vote on Election Day:
  • Bring two kinds of identification. One of those forms of ID must include your current address.
  • Valid forms of identification include a passport, a driver’s license, a state ID, school or work ID, bank statement, medical, utility or insurance bill, or school report card.

Photo IDs are preferred but not specifically stated as a requirement in the law.

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Q: How do I vote?
Where can I see my ballot before I vote?

A: There are several ways.

  • Find your ballot using our customized voter guide.
  • Your election official’s office will have a copy of your ballot available before Election Day. If your election official’s office has a website, you may be able to view your sample ballot on-line. If not, you can call them and ask that a sample ballot be mailed to you. Find your election authority by going to the Illinois State Board of Elections website. Once you are there, select your county or your city if you live in Chicago, Danville, Galesburg, Bloomington, East St. Louis, or Rockford. To find the name of your county in a search engine type the name of your city and state and “is in which county?” For example, “Rantoul, Illinois is in which county?”
  • Look in your local newspaper. Some newspapers publish sample ballots.

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Q: Who is my election official?
A: Find your local election authority by going to the Illinois State Board of Elections website. Once you are there, select your county or your city if you live in Chicago, Danville, Galesburg, Bloomington, East St. Louis, or Rockford. To find the name of your county in a search engine type the name of your city and state and “is in which county?” For example, “Rantoul, Illinois is in which county?”

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Q: What is the most credible, non-commercial source of current voter information?
A: The Illinois State Board of Elections website. Start there. You can then find your local election authority here. Select your county or your city if you live in Chicago, Danville, Galesburg, Bloomington, East St. Louis, or Rockford. To find the name of your county in a search engine type the name of your city and state and “is in which county?” For example, “Rantoul, Illinois is in which county?”

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Q: Where can I find information about candidates and issues?

A:

  • Journalists/reporters in public media and commercial media provide information about local and statewide elections using journalistic standards. Look to their websites for on-demand published stories and/or watch their broadcasts, read their newspapers and magazines.
  • Illinois Newsroom stations cover candidates and issues.
  • Nearly all candidates running for office have websites where they explain their positions, why they are running and their background. Search for them by name in a search engine to find their websites.
  • Contact candidates and email them your questions or ask to meet with them in-person.
  • Attend public candidate forums in your area.

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Q: How do I protect my right to vote?
A: Check that you are still registered to vote.

Look up your Illinois registration information here at least a week before November 6. To use this tool, you will need to provide:

  • Your name
  • Birthdate
  • Zip code

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Q: How do I protect my right to vote?
I thought I was registered but I am not listed as a registered voter, what can I do?
A: Contact your local election authority as soon as you discover this. Find your local election authority here. Select your county or your city if you live in Chicago, Danville, Galesburg, Bloomington, East St. Louis, or Rockford. To find the name of your county in a search engine type the name of your city and state and “is in which county?” For example, “Du Quoin, Illinois is in which county?”

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Q: How do I protect my right to vote?
Do I need to show identification to vote?
A: No, unless you did not submit two forms of ID when you registered to vote. If this is the case, then you will be required to show ID the first time you vote.

Once you are a registered voter, your election authority is supposed to mail you a voter card. Though not required, it is a good idea to bring your official voter registration card with you if you have one.

State law does not specifically say that a voter must show a photo ID to vote. However, your local polling place may ask for a photo ID to fully verify your identification when you go to vote. To preserve your right to vote, bring a photo ID with you such as a valid Illinois driver’s license or Illinois state ID card. Alternative forms of ID to verify your identity include:

  • Illinois hunting or fishing license
  • Your Illinois school ID (high school, college or university as long as it lists your current address)
  • FOID card
  • Social security card
  • Passport
  • A copy of your lease or rent receipt showing your name and address

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Have more questions about voting in Illinois? Let us know!