Election Day 2018 is fast approaching, and recent studies state that voter enthusiasm is “at its highest level during any midterm in more than two decades.”
For those who are new to the voting process or are unsure of their registration status, LoganSquarist is here to help. We’ve outlined the important details that residents need to know about voting in the general election, as well as compiled resources to help you prepare to vote.
Learn More About:
Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Who is eligible to vote?
You must meet the following requirements to register to vote:
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Must have been a resident of the precinct at least 30 days prior to Election Day
- Be at least 18 years old on or before election day
- NOT be registered to vote in another state
How do I know if I am registered to vote?
If you’re unsure of your voter registration status, you can check online. Visit the Illinois Voter Registration Lookup to see if you are registered to vote in Illinois.
I registered to vote, but I have not received my card yet. Is there a way to check my status?
You can check your application status on the State Board of Elections website. You will need a valid Illinois driver’s license or state ID, so have that handy. View your Application Status.
I still haven’t registered to vote. Is it too late?
It is not too late to register to vote! Illinois has a few different deadlines for registering to vote, but most importantly, our state has
Register to vote online
In order to register online, you need a valid Illinois state ID or Driver’s License, as well as a social security number. Register to vote online. But do it fast because the deadline is Oct. 21.
Grace Period Registration
If you miss the deadline to register online, you can still register in person by Nov. 5. To register in person, you need two (2) forms of ID. This can include any of the following:
- a copy of a current and valid photo identification
- a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or an
other government documentthat shows your name and address
Important Information: If you register to vote in person, you need to vote at that time as well! Make sure you are prepared to vote when you go to register. See “How do I know who is on my ballot?” below.
Grace Period Registration can happen in a few different places. The State Board of Elections website lists registration locations by ward. View the Early Voting/Grace Period Registration Locations page and in the drop-downs, choose 2018 General Election and then choose City of Chicago.
Unsure what ward you’re in? The City of Chicago website has got you covered. Find your ward.
Same Day Registration is essentially the same as Grace Period Registration, but the difference is that you need to do it at your assigned polling place. Same day registration still requires two (2) forms of ID (see options above) and is Nov. 6.
To find out where your polling place is, use the Polling Place Lookup form.
Can I vote before Election Day?
Yes! Illinois offers early voting both in person and via mail.
Vote early by mail
The first step is to fill out an online mail ballot application. This online form must be filled out by November 1st, but fill it out as soon as possible, because ballots need to be mailed in by November 6th.
Important Information: Filling out the online form does not mean you can only vote by mail. Many people request this form so they can see their ballot ahead of time, and then vote in person.
Vote early in person
If you’d like to vote in person before Election Day, visit the Early Voting/Grace Period Registration Locations page on the State Board of Elections website. In the
Unsure of what ward you’re in? The City of Chicago website has got you covered. Find your ward.
How do I know who is on my ballot?
The simplest way to find out who is on your ballot is to use ballotready.org. Enter your address and it will show all of the candidates that will appear on your ballot.
Where do I go to vote on Election Day?
This is my first time voting—what should I expect on Election Day?
Each polling place is different, but here is some voting information, as well a few of your voter rights:
- All Illinois polling places are open from 6 a.m. – 7 p.m. Make sure to give yourself ample time to get to your polling place before it closes, but as long as you are in line before 7 p.m., you will be able to vote.
- If you are unsure of how to use a voting machine, an election official can help you out at your polling place.
- You are allowed to take notes into the voting booth while voting.
- You are allowed to bring your young child with you into the booth while you are voting.
Eligibility, Accessibility and More
Can I vote if I’ve been convicted of a crime?
Yes, as long as you have finished serving your sentence. Learn more at Restore Your Vote.
I am a college
student—can I register to vote at my current address?
Yes, so long as you are not registered to vote at another address, and you have proof of your current address. See our Registering to Vote section for more information. Otherwise, you might need to vote with an absentee ballot.
How accessible is voting in Chicago?
The City of Chicago offers a handful of ways for voters with disabilities to register and vote. For information on how to vote in a way that accommodates your needs, visit the Chicago Board of Elections Commissioners website.
Can I take a selfie with my ballot?
Sorry, nope. It’s currently illegal in Illinois to post a photo of your ballot for public viewing. According to IllinoisPolicy.Org, it’s considered a Class 4 felony in Illinois to allow your ballot to be observed or seen by others. We’re not sure if this has ever been enforced, but better safe than sorry… take a selfie with your “I Voted” sticker instead! If you share your picture on Instagram with the hashtag #MyLoganSquare, we might repost it!
Let us know if you have any unanswered questions! From the LoganSquarist team, happy voting!