Democracy is not a spectator sport! Will you be able to vote?
Am I currently registered to vote in Illinois?
I’m not registered! Am I eligible?
In order to register to vote, you must meet these qualifications:
- You must be a United States citizen
- You must be at least 18 years old on or before the next election (OR for a General Primary, must be 17 and will be 18 by the General Election)
- You must live in your election precinct at least 30 days before the next election
- You must not be convicted and in jail
- You cannot claim the right to vote anywhere else
Looks like I qualify! How do I register?
You can always same day register and vote at polling places, so the rest of the dates need to have that in mind. You must normally register at least 28 days prior to an election in order to vote in that election. After that, there is a “Grace Period” process, described below.
You can register in three ways:
Register in person
You can register in person at local City, Village, or Township Halls in DuPage County or at the Election Division’s office in addition to some local Libraries. When registering, be sure to bring two forms of identification with you, one of which must have your correct address on it.
To apply electronically you must be prepared to provide:
- Your Illinois Drivers License number or Illinois Secretary of State issued State ID number.
- Date the license or ID was issued.
- The last four digits of your Social Security number.
- Your birth date
- Illinois Online Voter Application
Register by mail
You can also register by mail using an approved registration application form. You may download one of these PDF forms for printing:
or you may contact the Election Division to have a form sent to you. Instructions are included on the form for where to mail it.
Please note the following deadline information:
- You must mail or deliver this form no later than 28 days before the next election.
- If you do not receive a confirmation within 4 weeks of mailing or delivering this form, call the Election Division at (630) 407-5600.
Illinois law provides to individuals who were unable to register to vote or change their address prior to the traditional deadline (28 days prior to an election) a “Grace Period” to register and vote. To “Grace Period”register and vote, you must:
- Meet the same qualifications needed to register to vote.
- Bring 2 forms of ID with you, which indicate your name and address.
You may register to vote or transfer a registration during the “Grace Period” at any of the below Early Voting Locations until Monday, November 5th (or Saturday, November 3rd on some locations:
You can also register at your polling place on Election Day! (But please don’t wait if you can help it!)
If none of the above work for you, please call the DuPage County Clerk:
None of the automated phone menu options apply; you will need to press “0” (zero) to talk to someone. You will need to give your name, address, and date of birth.
How and when do I vote?
- Sample Ballot
- In-Person Early Voting
- Voting by Mail
- Absentee Voting
- Voting in Person at the Polls on Election Day
Sample Ballots are Available Now
One of the best ways to figure out who you want to vote for is by figuring out who and what is on your particular ballot. Go here to find your sample ballot.
In-Person Early Voting
In-person early voting for the March 2020 primaries began February 6.
Information about early voting locations.
Voting by Mail
Voting by mail also began February 6. You can obtain a mail-n ballot in two ways:
- Complete and submit an online application.
- Obtain a paper application by:
What is the difference between mail-in ballots and absentee ballots?
Absentee ballots are for citizens in the military or overseas. Others should use vote-by-mail or early voting.
Voting in Person at the Polls on Election Day 3/17/2020
If you should happen to go to the wrong polling place, a judge should be able to give you directions to the correct location.
What kind of identification do I need to vote in person?
Quoting here from the DuPage Election Commission FAQ:
You are not required to show identification at the polling place if you are registered to vote from the address where you reside. The only exception to this is if you registered BY MAIL and failed to include the necessary identification with the registration. In this case, two forms of identification may be required before casting a ballot, one containing your current address.
What Should I Expect Voting at the Polls on Election Day?
Polls tend to be crowded at the times you would expect: commuting periods and lunch time. Additionally, record turnout is expected in 2020.
If you arrive at the polls by closing time (7pm), it is guaranteed that you will be able to vote.
What if I am told I must vote a provisional ballot? What would cause this to happen? What is a provisional ballot, anyway?
PROVISIONAL VOTING: When is it appropriate? (See also pages 21 and 22 of this toolkit.)
There are six separate circumstances in which a provisional ballot is appropriate:
- The person’s registration cannot be verified: Their name does not appear in any of the following:
- The ballot-application book.
- The regular or supplemental voter-registration sheets.
- The Board of Elections master list of registered voters. (This latter list must be checked by a phone call from a judge to the Board of Elections.)
- The person’s voting status has been challenged by an election judge, a poll watcher, or any legal voter; and the challenge has been sustained by a majority of the election judges.
- A federal or State court order extends the time for closing the polls beyond the time period established by State law and the person votes during the extended time period.
- The voter registered to vote by mail and is required by law to present ID when voting either in person or by absentee ballot, but fails to do so.
- The voter’s name appears on the list of voters who voted during the early voting period, but voter claims to have not voted during the early voting period.
- The voter received an absentee ballot but did not return the absentee ballot to the election authority.
IMPORTANT: If you vote a Provisional Ballot, unless voting during specially extended poll hours (case #3 above), you will need to provide proof of eligiblity within the next two days after the election if you did not do so at the time of voting. Most voters don’t!
Excerpt from the Illinois Election Code regarding Provisional Ballots
(10 ILCS 5/18A-15)
Sec. 18A-15. Validating and counting provisional ballots. (d) In validating the registration status of a person casting a provisional ballot, the county clerk or board of election commissioners shall not require a provisional voter to complete any form other than the affidavit executed by the provisional voter under subsection (b)(2) of Section 18A-5. In addition, the county clerk or board of election commissioners shall not require all provisional voters or any particular class or group of provisional voters to appear personally before the county clerk or board of election commissioners or as a matter of policy require provisional voters to submit additional information to verify or otherwise support the information already submitted by the provisional voter. The provisional voter may, within 2 calendar days after the election, submit additional information to the county clerk or board of election commissioners. This information must be received by the county clerk or board of election commissioners within the 2-calendar-day period.
It is up to you to verify that your provisional ballot has been counted. You can look this up on the same page used to check your registration.
What happens to my paper ballot when I vote?
When you submit a “fill in the ovals” paper ballot, your votes are immediately tallied electronically by the machine. However, the paper ballots themselves are carefully retained and can be audited if necessary.
If you make an error such as voting for more than the number of candidates allowed in a particular race (an “overvote”), the machine will reject your ballot, which will be marked as “spoiled”, and you can have a fresh ballot to try again.
What happens when I vote with the touch-screen?
The touch-screen machine prints a paper tape, visible to you, recording all your votes.
This tape is carefully retained and can be audited by hand if necessary.
What happens to all of these materials when the polls close?
What happens to the large (“fill-in-the-oval”) paper ballots that go into the tabulator machine?
After the polls close, a “stop card” is run through the machine which prevents it from recording any more votes. Several paper tape copies of the results are printed and signed by judges from both parties. Then, again witnessed by judges, the bin is opened and all ballots are carefully collected. Those with write-ins are kept separate, and all the others are boxed separately.
What happens to the touch-screen voting machines?
As described above, when you finish voting, your votes are printer on a paper tape that is visible to you. At the end of the day, this paper record is signed by all the judges and carefully stored. Additionally, several copies of the vote totals are printed and signed by the judges.
At least one copy of the results from this machine and the paper ballot machine are posted on the window of the polling place for public viewing.
Then what? Where does everything go?
All paper ballots, printed totals, and various other certification documents are transported to the Election Commission at the County Complex by the chief judge plus an assistant of the other party.
I’ve been voting for years. Will Russian hackers remove my registration? How can I check?
There have been attacks on Illinois voting records, but so far the attacks seem confined to scanning rather than alteration of information. The goal of such attacks is primarily to spread confusion and distrust in the system. If you have been voting regularly, there should be no problem. You can easily verify that you are registered here. Do it frequently if you like!
But I’ve never voted before!
Sadly, young people have one of the lowest voting rates. They may be about to leave home, they may feel that they are on campus temporarily or may expect to moving frequently; in any case, they may feel little connection to a community. They may feel cynical about the power of their vote.They may suspect registration is difficult. (It’s easy — see above!)
But young people have the biggest stake in these elections! It is your future that is being determined! Do you want democracy to survive? Do you want your lives to be controlled by a powerful few? Do you want to struggle to survive on an overheated planet?
There’s no single more important (and easy!) thing you can do to impact your future!
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