Illinois

VOTING GUIDE

Including Student Information

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+ Registration Deadlines and Election Dates

  • Voter Registration Deadline: 28 days before Election Day
  • Grace period registration is available in person at specially authorized sites from the registration deadline through Election Day. Contact your local county clerk for locations.

+ Official Election Websites

+ Register at School or Home

Students have a choice about where to register to vote.

Students attending college may register at their campus address or choose to remain registered or register at their permanent or home address.

You may only be registered and vote in one location.

+ What Type of ID Do I Need to Register?

  • The Illinois voter registration form asks for your Illinois driver’s license or ID number, or the last four digits of your Social Security Number. Be sure to provide one of these numbers if you have it.
  • If you register in person, two forms of identification with at least one showing your current residence address are needed. Examples include: driver’s license, social security card, public aid identification card, utility bill, employee or student identification card, lease or contract for a residence, credit card, or a civic, union or professional association membership card.

+ What Type of ID Do I Need to Vote?

You do not need any ID to vote early or on Election Day in Illinois. The only exception is for first-time mail-in registrants who failed to provide a driver’s license number, state ID number, or the last four digits of their Social Security Number.

+ Where Do I Vote?

Make a plan. Look up your voting site and hours at: https://ova.elections.il.gov/RegistrationLookup.aspx

+ How Can I Vote?

By Mail

  • Any registered Illinois voter can vote absentee without an excuse.
  • An absentee ballot application can be submitted in person or by mail. You must submit your absentee ballot application between 90 days and 5 days before the election or, if requesting it in person, by 1 day before Election Day.
  • Absentee ballots must either be returned in person by the close of the polls by the voter or any person authorized by the voter, or be postmarked no later than 11:59 p.m. on the night prior to the election and received within 14 days of Election Day.

Early In-person

  • All voters may vote early in person without an excuse. Contact your local election authority to figure out which polling places have been designated for early voting in your county or check online at: http://www.elections.il.gov/VotingInformation/EarlyVotingLocations.aspx
  • Illinois also offers early voting at local election authority offices from the 40th day before Election Day through the day before Election Day. Early voting sites must remain open either 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. However, starting eight days before Election Day, any permanent polling place or early voting site must remain open until 7 p.m., regardless of whether it opens at 8:30 a.m. or 9 a.m. A permanent polling place or early voting site must remain open from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Finally, any designated permanent polling place or early voting site must be open for at least 14 hours on the final weekend of early voting.

Election Day

  • Voting sites will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day. If you are in line by the closing time then you will be allowed to vote.

+ Common Questions/Concerns

Registering to Vote Does Not Affect Your:

  • Federal Financial Aid
    • Where you register to vote will not affect federal financial aid such as Pell Grants, Perkins or Stafford loans, or your dependency status for FAFSA
  • Status as a Dependent on Your Parents’ Taxes
    • Being registered to vote at a different address from your parents does not prevent them from claiming you as a dependent on their taxes
  • Tuition Status
    • Being deemed out-of-state for tuition purposes does not prevent you from choosing to register to vote in your campus community

Will registering to vote in Illinois affect my driver’s license or car registration?

  • Registering to vote makes you a resident under Illinois law and may require you to transfer your driver’s license or car registration in state. For more information, you may wish to contact the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles.

FELN intends that the information contained herein is used only as a general guide. This document should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a licensed Illinois legal professional.

Last updated July 2017