Illinois

Upcoming Elections

2022-05-19 – Early Voting Starts (At Election Authority Office Starting on)

At Election Authority Office as of Thu May 19, 2022

2022-05-31 – Registration Deadline

Tue May 31, 2022

2022-06-12 – Registration Deadline (Online by)

Online by Sun Jun 12, 2022

2022-06-13 – Early Voting Starts (At Permanent Polling Places Starting on)

At Permanent Polling Places as of Mon Jun 13, 2022

2022-06-23 – Ballot Request Deadline (Online by)

Online by Thu Jun 23, 2022

2022-06-23 – Ballot Request Deadline (Post received by)

Post received by Thu Jun 23, 2022

2022-06-27 – Ballot Request Deadline (In-Person Request by)

In-Person Request by Mon Jun 27, 2022

2022-06-27 – Early Voting Ends (Early Voting Period ends on)

Early Voting ends Mon Jun 27, 2022

2022-06-28 – Ballot Return Deadline (Postmarked by)

Postmarked by Tue Jun 28, 2022

2022-06-28 – Registration Deadline (Grace Period to)

Grace Period through Tue Jun 28, 2022

2022-07-12 – Ballot Return Deadline (Post received by)

Post received by Tue Jul 12, 2022

Last updated: March 2022

Voting in Illinois

When You Can Vote

Election Day Polling Place Hours

6 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Early Voting

Any voter in Illinois can vote early, although dates, times, and locations of early voting depend on where you live.  

In Chicago, the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners provides details here: http://www.chicagoelections.com/en/early-voting.htmlIf you are outside Chicago, contact your County or Local Elections Official  for information about location and times, or visit the State Board of Election website for more details.

Registering to Vote

Registration Deadlines

  • For registration deadlines, see How to Register below.

How to Check Your Registration: Voters can determine whether they are registered to vote at the following link: Am I Registered?.

You are eligible to vote in Illinois if you:

  • Are a U.S citizen
  • Are at least 18 years old by Election Day
  • Live in the precinct where you vote for at least 30 days prior to the election

*You can vote vote in a Primary Election at the age of 17, if you will be 18 by the time of the General Election.

How to register 

  • Illinois State Primary Election
    • Register By: Tue May 31, 2022
    • Apply Online: Online by Sun Jun 12, 2022
    • Grace Period through Tue Jun 28, 2022

Registration Deadlines: 

Illinois voters may register to vote before or even on Election Day.  Election Day Registration (EDR) is available in at least one place in every county.  In Chicago, Cook County, and several other places, you can take advantage of EDR at every polling place.  In some lower population areas, EDR might only be available at one location per county, which is typically the county courthouse.  

If a voter needs to update their registration after these deadlines, they may use EDR. Voters who have recently moved can also register by mail or in person on certain dates before the election through “grace period” registration, but then the voter must vote at a designated “grace period” voting site. You can find a grace period voting site at the state Board of Elections website here: https://www.elections.il.gov/VotingAndRegistrationSystems/EarlyVotingLocationsSearch.aspx 

If you have questions about registration, call 866-OUR-VOTE.

How to Register

In Chicago, Cook County, and several other places, you can register at your polling place on Election Day.  All Illinois residents can register in person (at the office of the election authority, at driver’s license facilities), or with deputy registrars in each area, or via mail using the Illinois Voter Registration Application available in English and Spanish (see link at the bottom of the page).  In Cook County and the City of Chicago, registration forms are also available online and in person in Chinese, Hindi, Polish, and Korean.  

Identification Required for Registration: 

If you register in person, you must bring two forms of identification, including at least one showing your current address (or, if you are homeless, your mailing address).  Acceptable forms of ID include but are not limited to: driver’s license, social security card, public aid identification card (such as Illinois Link card), utility bill, employee or student identification card, credit card, or a civic, union, or professional association membership card.

If you are registering by mail, you are required to provide your driver’s license number or state identification card number.  If you do not have either of those, you are required to submit the last 4 digits of your social security number.  If you do not have any of the above, then you should include with your 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.  You may also provide a photo identification issued by a college or university along with either a copy of your contract or lease for a residence, or any mail postmarked in the last thirty days and delivered to you at your current address.  

Voting Early & by Mail

If You Want to Vote Absentee, requests may be made:

  • In-Person
  • By Mail

Absentee Ballots may be returned:

  • In-Person
  • By Mail
Illinois State Primary Election

Ballot Request:

  • Online by Thu Jun 23, 2022
  • Post received by Thu Jun 23, 2022
  • In-Person Request by Mon Jun 27, 2022

Ballot Return:

  • Postmarked by Tue Jun 28, 2022
  • Post received by Tue Jul 12, 2022

Early Voting:

  • Early Voting from At Election Authority Office as of Thu May 19, 2022 to Early Voting ends Mon Jun 27, 2022

If You Want to Vote Early

Early Voting: Registered voters may go in person to their local board of elections office (or at an Early Voting Center, as announced by the election board).  You can look up the locations and times of early voting polling places on the State Board of Elections website starting at least 10 days before the early voting period at: https://www.elections.il.gov/VotingAndRegistrationSystems/EarlyVotingLocationsSearch.aspx

Although a government-issued photo ID is not required, if you have one, it may be useful to bring it to avoid confusion.  Early voting might be more convenient for some voters and could be less likely to have long lines.

A voter who has received a mail ballot may vote early if they submit the vote by mail ballot for cancellation to the judge or election official conducting early voting. If the voter is unable to submit the mail ballot they may provide a portion of the ballot if it was mutilated, or an affidavit executed before the judge or election official specifying either that the voter did not receive a mail ballot or that the voter completed and returned the mail ballot but was told by the election authority that it did not receive the mail ballot.

If You Want to Vote by Mail (Absentee)

Any registered Illinois voter can request a mail-in (formerly called absentee) ballot.  You do not need to provide any special excuse.  Voters can obtain a mail-in ballot application on the State Board of Elections website (https://www.elections.il.gov/ElectionOperations/VotingByMail.aspx?MID=ELGeUv9wLSI%3d&T=637122667237511538), the State Board of Elections office, or at your local board of election office. You can mail, e-mail, fax, or deliver in person your completed mail-in ballot request to your local election board’s office.

Mailed ballots must be postmarked by Election Day. A list of mail ballot drop box locations is available on the State Board of Elections website (https://www.elections.il.gov/VotingAndRegistrationSystems/VoteByMailBallotDropBoxLocations.aspx?MID=0DjRa0Y9V6U%3d&T=637605831817373693). If you mail the ballot, to make sure that your ballot will be counted, have the local post office put a postmark date on the return envelope.

Identification Requirements

Voter Registration

To register to vote in Illinois you should provide:

  • Last Four Digits of your Social Security Number
  • Your Illinois Driver’s License or State/non-driver ID Number

If you do not have any of these IDs, you can provide a copy of one of the following with your registration application:

  • Current and Valid Photo ID
  • Government Issued Document that shows your current name and address
  • Utility Bill
  • Government Check
  • Bank Statement
  • Paycheck that Shows your Current Name and Address
  • Valid Student ID and Mail Addressed to your Residence

You can alternatively provide one of these documents when you vote to complete your registration. Two forms of identification with at least one showing your current residence address are needed when you register in-person.

Voting In-Person

If you registered to vote in Illinois, you may be required to present valid ID if you are voting for the first time or your registration is incomplete. You can use any ID from this list:

  • Lease or rent agreement
  • Paycheck that shows your Current Name and Address
  • Current and Valid Photo ID
  • Utility Bill
  • Bank Statement
  • Valid Student ID and Mail Addressed to your Residence
  • Government Check
  • Government Issued Document that shows your Current Name and Address
  • If a voter’s qualifications are challenged, the voter may be required to produce two forms of identification showing her current residence address. One of those forms of identification may be a piece of mail addressed to the voter at her current residence address.  Otherwise, voters may bring a witness who is registered to vote in that same precinct and who is willing to take an oath and say that the voter is qualified to vote there—and then the voter may vote. 
  • Some places may require that the voter present two forms of ID if she is on the inactive voter list.

If a voter is unable to show identification when required—if the voter registered by mail without providing identification, was successfully challenged, is on the inactive list, or is using Election Day Registration (EDR)—the voter is allowed to vote by provisional ballot.  BUT a voter should try to go back and get an ID before entering the polls, instead of voting with a provisional ballot, because provisional ballots are not always counted.

If You Have Moved Within Illinois

The below to help you determine how to correct your registration if you have moved. Call 866-OUR-VOTE with any questions.

Moved within 30 days of Election Day

  • Moved within the same precinct: If moved within 27 days of the election: The voter should go to their polling place (both addresses should vote at the same place) and cast a regular full ballot after completing an affidavit listing the voter’s former and current addresses.
  • Moved to a different precinct but within the same election area: The voter may use grace period or Election Day registration to update their info and vote on the same day at the polling place for their current address (in Chicago, Cook County, and certain other places) or another location such as the local election board office.
    • Or if that isn’t feasible, the voter can complete an address correction form at the precinct for their old address and cast a regular full ballot for that old address.
  • Moved to a different election area within Illinois: The voter may use grace period or Election Day registration to update their info and vote on the same day at the polling place for their current address (in Chicago, Cook County, and certain other places) or another location such as the local election board office.
    • Or if that isn’t feasible, the voter can complete an address correction form at the precinct for their old address and cast a full ballot for that old address.

Moved more than 30 days before Election Day

  • Moved within the same precinct: The voter may use grace period or Election Day registration to update their info and vote on the same day at the polling place for their current address (in Chicago, Cook County, and certain other places) or another location such as the local election board office.
    • Or if that isn’t feasible, the voter can complete an address correction form at the precinct for their old address and cast a ballot for only federal offices.
  • Moved to a different precinct but within the same election area: The voter may use grace period or Election Day registration to update their info and vote on the same day at the polling place for their current address (in Chicago, Cook County, and certain other places) or another location such as the local election board office.  
    • Or if that isn’t feasible, the voter can complete an address correction form at the precinct for their old address and cast a ballot for only federal offices.
  • Moved to a different election area within Illinois: The voter may use grace period or Election Day registration to update their info and vote on the same day at the polling place for their current address (in Chicago, Cook County, and certain other places) or another location such as the local election board office.

Remember, call 866-OUR-VOTE with any questions about correcting your voter registration.

If You Are in the Military or Are an Overseas Voter

Voting Military

Service members and their dependents may register and request a ballot using the federal voter registration/ballot request form (“FPCA”). You will have the following identification options when completing the form:

  • U.S. State or Territory or District Issued ID
  • Option to Indicate that you do not have the Requested ID
  • Last 4 Digits of your Social Security Number

Voting Overseas

U.S. citizens living overseas may register and request a ballot using the overseas voter registration/ballot request form. You will have the following identification options when completing the form:

  • U.S. State or Territory or District Issued ID
  • Option to Indicate that you do not have the Requested ID
  • Last 4 Digits of your Social Security Number

Military service members and US citizens living outside the US can register to vote, can request an absentee ballot, and can submit voting materials by mail, fax, or e-mail.  Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) Illinois-specific page (https://www.fvap.gov/illinois) for step-by-step help and rules about deadlines and other requirements.

If You Have a Felony Conviction

Most likely, you will be able to vote. The only people in Illinois who cannot vote because of their criminal record are people who: 

  • Are in prison or jail serving a sentence after being convicted of any crime;
  • Are in an Adult Transition Center;
  • Are on furlough from prison or jail; or 
  • Are on work-release from prison or jail.

You should be able to register and vote if you completed your sentence for a felony crime, if you are on probation or parole, if you have been arrested or charged with a crime but have NOT been convicted, or if you are in jail before your trial.

If you have served your sentence and have been released, you are again eligible to vote. Check if you are registered here: http://ova.elections.il.gov/RegistrationLookup.aspx. You may need to register again.  

Accessibility and Spanish Language Assistance

Any voter who needs help voting has the right to get help, as long as the voter makes the choices on the ballot and the person helping just marks the choices made by the voter. A voter may choose anyone to assist them other than their employer or union representative. In many places, polling places are required to provide help in Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, and other languages.  Call 866-OUR-VOTE, 888-VE-Y-VOTA, 888-API-VOTE, or 888-YALLA-US if you have questions.

Polling places are required to be accessible to people with disabilities, but many are not.  You can contact your local election office ahead of time to request “curbside voting” so that you can vote from your vehicle. Many polling places also have electronic voting machines with functions such as headphones, touch screen functions, and sip-and-puff ports.

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Questions about voting in Illinois?

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