Voting FAQs

Additional FAQs

1. Where do I vote?

Your polling place location is printed on your voter’s identification card which you will receive by mail after registering to vote. Alternatively, you can visit the Precinct Finder page of our website to look up your polling place.

You may also vote early during the 40th day through the day prior to the election only at specific locations determined by the Election Authority. Please check the calendar on the right for early voting opportunities for a specific election.

2. When do I vote?

Polling places are open from 6:00 AM until 7:00 PM on Election Day. Alternatively, you may also vote early during the 22nd day through the 3rd day prior to the election only at specific locations determined by the Election Authority. For early voting opportunities for a specific election, please check the calendar on the right.

3. How do I vote?
  • Step 1 – Receive Your Ballot.
    Enter your polling place and give your name and address to the Election Judges. You will then be asked to verify and sign the pre-printed application. Upon verification, the Election Judges will give you a paper ballot and a privacy sleeve. 
  • Step 2 – Enter the Voting Booth and Mark Your Ballot.
    Enter the next available voting booth. To vote the optical scan ballot, completely darken the oval to the left of the candidate or public question of your choice with the pen provided. Be sure to mark both sides of your ballot. If you make a mistake marking your ballot, return it to the Election Judge to receive a new ballot. After voting your ballot, place it in the privacy sleeve provided. Exit the voting booth with your ballot in the privacy sleeve to the optical scan ballot counter.
  • Step 3 – Vote!
    Insert your ballot into the ballot tabulator. The ballot is read by the optical scanner and dropped into the metal ballot bin. This Optical Scan System complies with the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) to provide voters an opportunity to check and correct ballot errors (for example, casting more votes for an office than allowed results in an overvote). If an error is detected, the system will gently beep and give you the option to accept the ballot as is (the overvoted office will not count) or you may return the ballot to an Election Judge and receive another one. When the polls close, the tabulator prints the results of all votes cast.
4. How do I vote by mail?

Step 1

You must apply to receive a vote by mail ballot. For more information on applying, visit the Applying for a Vote by Mail Ballot page.

Once you have applied and returned your signed application, the Election’s office will mail you your vote by mail ballot packet. A packet which includes a ballot, Instructions for Voting by Mail Ballot, certificate envelope, and a return mailing envelope with prepaid postage will be mailed to the voter. Ballots cannot be mailed more than 40 days before, or less than five days prior to, the election.

Step 2

Upon receipt of the vote by mail ballot packet, follow all instructions on how to vote and return the ballot to the County Clerk’s Office. Returned ballots by mail must be postmarked by midnight on the day before the election and received within 14 days after the election. Voted ballots personally delivered to the County Clerk’s Office by the voter must be received no later than Election Day before 7:00 P.M. A voter may authorize any person to return their ballot to the County Clerk’s office as long as the voter has signed the affidavit on the ballot envelope affirming that authorization was given to deliver the ballot.

4. How do I vote by mail?

Step 1

You must apply to receive a vote by mail ballot. For more information on applying, visit the Applying for a Vote by Mail Ballot page.

Once you have applied and returned your signed application, the Election’s office will mail you your vote by mail ballot packet. A packet which includes a ballot, Instructions for Voting by Mail Ballot, certificate envelope, and a return mailing envelope with prepaid postage will be mailed to the voter. Ballots cannot be mailed more than 40 days before, or less than five days prior to, the election.

Step 2

Upon receipt of the vote by mail ballot packet, follow all instructions on how to vote and return the ballot to the County Clerk’s Office. Returned ballots by mail must be postmarked by midnight on the day before the election and received within 14 days after the election. Voted ballots personally delivered to the County Clerk’s Office by the voter must be received no later than Election Day before 7:00 P.M. A voter may authorize any person to return their ballot to the County Clerk’s office as long as the voter has signed the affidavit on the ballot envelope affirming that authorization was given to deliver the ballot.

5. When do I vote by mail?

Applications to vote by mail can begin not more than 90 days before the Election through the 5th day prior to Election Day.

Ballots can begin being mailed to voters 45 days before before Election Day.

Ballots must be postmarked not later than Election Day.

6. What is early voting and how can I do it?

Early Voting refers to a procedure implemented in Illinois for the first time at the 2006 General Primary Election which allows for registered voters to vote in advance of Election Day. Registered voters can vote early during the 22nd day through the 3rd day prior to the election only at specific locations determined by the Election Authority. Early voters are required to present a valid Illinois Driver’s License, an Illinois identification card issued by the Secretary of State, or any other government-issued identification document containing their photograph, name and address. Please note that once a voter casts an early ballot, the vote cast is final and may not be revoked and the voter is not eligible to cast a vote on Election Day.

7. WHEN/WHERE CAN I VOTE EARLY?

Early Voting is available during the 40th day through the day prior to the election only at specific locations determined by the Election Authority. To see a list of early voting opportunities for a specific election, please check the calendar on the right hand side.

7. Do I need identification to vote?

No, you are not required to show identification at the polling place if you are registered to vote from the address where you reside. However, if you registered by sending in a mail-in application and have never voted before, you may be required to provide identification the first time you vote.

8. What if I am told at the polling place I am not eligible to vote, but I believe I am?

If your eligibility to vote is in question, request a Provisional Ballot from the Election Judges. (The Judges should notify you of this right.) A Provisional Ballot is a regular ballot that is issued to a person whose right to vote is in question, BUT the ballot is NOT DEPOSITED IN THE BALLOT BOX, rather it is kept in a separate, securable container. The Election Office will then verify all provisional ballots within two weeks of the election and if determined it is valid, the ballot will be counted and added to the official results.

9. What offices can I vote on?

The voting districts in which you reside are printed on your voter’s identification card which you received by mail after registering to vote. Alternatively, you can go to the Precinct Finder page of our website to look up your polling place. Specimen ballots will also available prior to each election on our website.

10. How can I find out who the candidates are for the next election?

Candidate listings will be posted on our website after each filing period. Also, specimen ballots will be available prior to each election on our website.

11. Do I have to declare my party affiliation to vote?

The only election which requires a voter to declare their party affiliation is a Primary Election, when political parties nominate candidates for the General Election. The Primary election is currently held the third Tuesday in March of even years.

Additional FAQs