How Does Early In
You do not need to provide a reason for wanting to vote early and in-person for the 2020 general election.
There are a variety of places that will allow you to vote early and in-person, depending on your jurisdiction.
To find out where you are able to vote early and in-person, click here. Once you navigate to the Early Voting locations page, choose “2020 general election” and your jurisdiction. From there a list of early voting sites will appear.
You can also drop off your ballot at a Vote by Mail Ballot Box in your jurisdiction. For a list of locations, click here.
All in-person early voting requests must be made by
IMPORTANT NOTE: The votes cast during the early voting period will not be counted until after the polls close on Election Day.
How Do I Register To Vote
You can register to vote on election day, but only at your assigned ward voting site. Registering at in-person early voting is also an option. If you’re registering physically then you’ll need to bring two forms of ID, including at least one that lists your current address. Want to check if you’re already registered to vote? Enter your address here.
What Is Your Election 2020 Vote Plan
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, voting options for the November 2020 election have been expanded in Illinois. Whether you exercise your right to vote by mail or in person, the resources below will provide you with the answers to your questions about this years election and help you plan to vote safely!
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Convicted Felons’ Voting Rights
- See also: Voting rights for convicted felons
In Illinois, individuals with felony convictions automatically regain their voting rights at the completion of their prison or jail sentence, as specified by Article III, Section 2 of the Illinois State Constitution.
Voting rights for convicted felons vary from state to state. In the majority of states, convicted felons cannot vote while they are incarcerated but may regain the right to vote upon release from prison or at some point thereafter.
How Can I Register
There are many ways to register to votechoose what works for you!
Automatic Voter Registration
When you visit a Secretary of State Driver Services facility, you will be asked if you want to register to vote or update your registration. If you say yes, you have opted-in to Automatic Voter Registration.
You may register to vote by . Applications should be postmarked no later than 28 days before the next election.
Chicago offers voter registration at all early voting locations in the lead-up to an election. Find early voting locations near you.
In Chicago, you can register on Election Day at your polling place. Find your Election Day polling place. If you wait until Election Day to register to vote, be sure to bring the required ID with you.
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What If I Need To Contact My Local Election Authorities
Illinois has 108 election authorities who are responsible for handling local voter registration programs, training election judges, selecting polling places, getting ballots printed, overseeing Election Day activities and supervising the vote count at the local level.
These election authorities consist of county clerks in 101 counties, one county election commissions and 6 municipal election commissions.
If you need to contact your local election authorities, you can do so here.
What Youre Voting On
Chicagoans are voting on candidates for the presidency, Senate and House of Representatives, among other offices.
All of Illinois will vote on an amendment that would allow the state to adopt a graduated income tax, replacing its current flax tax so people of different income levels dont pay the same tax rate.
Locally, youll be able to pick a Cook County states attorney, as well as various judges. If youre baffled by which judges to select, Injustice Watch has a comprehensive judicial election guide that breaks down who will be on your ballot and how they are ranked by various bar associations.Check it out here.
Want to go through a sample ballot and properly research each candidate ? Check out your sample ballot here.
Could Illinois Experience Any Voting Glitches
Illinois has a robust voting system that is likely to operate in a good way compared with other states in the lead-up to Election Day, Redfield said. Illinois has conducted mail-in and early voting in past elections, which better prepares the state for the likely surge.
Glitches could come in the form of minor delays or discarded ballots if people dont follow the rules when sending their votes by mail. Chicago election officials said unsigned return envelopes is a common problem.
Illinois has verification processes and controls in place to limit such situations. Any issues with provisional ballots can be resolved during a 14-day period after Election Day.
Redfield said Illinois should remain pretty cut and dry this election, but the pandemic complicates things. There might be problems with staffing polling places and longer lines given COVID-19 restrictions, even with dispersed early voting.
If we were not having a pandemic, we would say, Boy, Election Day is going to run really smoothly, Redfield said. But trying to vote under pandemic conditions means it takes longer.
What Happens If A Mayoral Candidate Doesn’t Win A Majority Of The Vote
To win the mayoral election in Chicago, a candidate must receive more than 50 percent of the vote on election day. If this doesnt happen, then a runoff election between the top two candidates will occur on April 2, 2019. With so many candidates in the running, it’s pretty likely that you’ll be voting again in April to decide Mayor Emanuel’s successor.
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Why Is It Important To Vote For An Alderman
Your ward’s alderman is almost like the king or queen of your neighborhood and is one of the first people you should contact if you have an issue. The alderman’s office helps fix potholes on your street, issues permits for street festivals, decides which businesses get liquor licenses and has the power to approve rezoning of properties to make them eligible for redevelopment. Elected every four years, your alderman is your neighborhood’s voice in City Hall and is given roughly $1 million each year to spend on improvements in their ward. You should vote for an aldermanic candidate that you feel has the best interest of your ward in mind. To learn more about the aldermanic race in your neighborhood, type in your address at Chi.Vote.
How Do I Cast My Ballot Early
Early voting runs from Thursday until Nov. 2. You dont need to provide a reason for voting early any registered voter can cast their ballot early in Illinois.
You have a few early voting options: You can cast your ballot at your local election authority or at designated early polling places, you can send your ballot through the mail or you can drop off your ballot at secured drop box locations in your area.
Remember you can only vote once in an election. Knowingly voting more than once in Illinois is a class 3 felony.
If you decide youd rather vote in person after applying for a mail-in ballot, youll need to bring your mail-in ballot to an early voting site or your election precinct polling place and surrender it to an election judge. The election judge should then give you a standard ballot, which you can fill out to vote in person.
State officials have an online database for all Illinois election boards, which voters can use to check their polling places. Be sure to check dates and hours to make sure the polling place is open on the day you hope to vote.
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More Information For Voters
Chicago Board of Elections: Cook County Clerks Office:
Register to Vote on Election Day
Eligible voters can still register and vote at their home polling place on Election Day. Bring two forms of identification to register.
Voters Experiencing Homelessness
People experiencing homelessness are eligible to vote in Illinois. Their current mailing address is recognized as their residence for voting purposes.To provide proof of address, people experiencing homelessness should present one of the following items at the polls:
- A piece of mail addressed to the voter
- A statement or letter from a case manager, homeowner, or religious leader that states the voter is allowed to use this mailing address
- An ID card issued by a homeless shelter showing the name and mailing address of the voter.
When Can I Cast My Mail
If you plan to vote by mail, you have to apply. Election authorities must receive the application for a mail-in ballot by Oct. 29.
The Postal Service recommended that Illinois voters wanting to cast a ballot by mail submit their applications at least 15 days before Election Day at a minimum, and preferably long before that time.
Election authorities will start sending mail-in ballots to approved applicants on Thursday. Once youve filled out the ballot, you can return it through the Postal Service or licensed couriers, or bring it to the election board that has jurisdiction over your area, such as the Chicago Board of Elections or the Cook County clerk.
The ballot must be received within 14 days after Election Day. They also must be postmarked by Election Day, meaning any ballot sent through the mail after Nov. 3 will not be counted.
Before casting your ballot by mail, make sure you sign your return envelope and ballot wherever indicated.
Election boards provide various ways for voters to track their ballot. The Chicago Board of Elections will send an email confirming the ballot was received and another when the vote has been counted.
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Virtual Debate Watch 2020
The year 2020 has beenunlike any other. Americans are in a watershed moment amidst the confluent impacts of COVID-19, calls for racial equity, and civil unrest. Prior to each debate, join us for a series of one-hour live virtual panel discussions with experts from political and civic spheres. Moderated by Chicago journalist Laura Washington,this conversation series kicks off on September 29 with Congresswoman Robin Kelly of Illinoiss 2nd Congressional District Lynn Sweet, the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times and Pat Brady, former chairman of the Illinois Republican Party.
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Voters who prefer to cast a ballot in person can visit the Loop super site as of Oct. 1. Starting Oct. 14, 50 ward sites will also be open for early voting.
All of those locations are listed in the map above.
This year, early voting locations in Chicago will also offer secure drop boxes for voters to drop off their signed and sealed mail-in ballots during early voting hours. You can also return a mail-in ballot using standard mail service.
For voters in suburban Cook County, early voting starts Oct. 12 at 69 W. Washington St. in the Pedway at the Cook County Clerks Office, with suburban early voting sites opening Oct. 19. Find a list of locations here. To learn about mail-in voting for suburban Cook County residents, go here.
Below, some voting FAQ.
Who can vote early?
Registered Chicago voters can vote early at any such site in the city no excuse is needed. Not sure if youre registered to vote? Check your registration status here if you live in Chicago and here if you live in suburban Cook County.
Who can vote by mail?
All registered voters can vote by mail no excuse is needed for this option, either. Gov. J.B. Pritzker called voting by mail perhaps the safest method to cast a ballot in November.
What if Im not registered?
Where do I vote on Election Day?
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Voting In Person On Election Day
First, check here to make sure you are registered to vote already. If you arent, you can register online here until Oct. 18. You can also register in person on Election Day. You will need to bring two forms of ID .
Then, on Election Day, head to your polling place, which you can find here, and cast your ballot. As long as youre in line by the time your polling place closes you should be allowed to vote. Sometimes when polling places open late, they get extended hours. Those hours should be posted at the entrance.
Claudia Morell covers city politics for WBEZ. Follow her.
National Conference Of State Legislatures Report 2018
On February 14, 2018, the National Conference of State Legislatures released a report on the costs of election administration in the states: “The Price of Democracy: Splitting the Bill for Elections.” The report’s authors noted that “no one knows how much spend on elections … good research on election costs is slim.” Generally, local units of government are primarily responsible for election administration costs, though states and the federal government may also contribute. The report identified the states listed in the table below as assuming financial responsibility for at least some aspects of election administration.
To access the complete NCSL report, click here.
|Election administration costs assumed by state|
|State pays all expenses for federal or state elections||State bears a portion of election costs||State pays for statewide special elections or statewide elections that dont coincide with regularly scheduled elections||State pays for primary elections|
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What If I Miss The Deadline To Register To Vote
Uh oh. You forgot to register on time? Don’t fret! You still may be eligible to register to vote during the grace period.
Grace period registration allows each election authority to allow voters to register or change their address during the period from the close of registration through Election Day.
Although the traditional voter registration period closes 28 days prior to the election, grace period registration extends that deadline from the 27th day prior to an election through Election Day.
PLEASE NOTE: Grace period registration is only available in-person and at designated sites.
You can register and vote during the grace period at the following places:
- at the office of the election authority
- at a permanent polling place established by the election authority
- at any other early voting site beginning 15 days prior to the elections
- at some polling places on Election Day
- at a location specifically designated for this purpose by the election authority.
To search for a location that offers grace period registration in your jurisdiction, click here.