Logan Square residents, you still have time to register to vote before Election Day, Nov. 3. And since many neighborhood residents have newly arrived in recent years, you may need to update your address, even if you’re already registered. There’s still time for that too.
You can register or update your address online through Oct. 18. If you want to do it by snail mail, you need to get moving: Forms must be postmarked by Oct. 6. Here’s what you need to know to get registered (and make your voting plan):
- Sept. 24: Mail-in ballots started getting sent to voters.
- Oct 1.-Nov. 3: Early voting (opened Oct. 1 at downtown site, in all 50 wards Oct. 14). You can also register to vote at any early voting site.
- Oct. 6: Postmark deadline for voter registration forms sent by mail.
- Oct. 18: Online registration deadline.
- Oct. 29: Mail-in vote applications must be received (apply online by 5 p.m.)
- Nov. 3: Election Day! You can also register to vote at your polling place. Mail-in ballots must be returned by this date.
How to Register
Check if you’re registered here on the Chicago Board of Election Commisioners site. This form will also tell you your polling site and the status of your mail-in ballot. You can also find a sample ballot and info on your representatives.
If you’re not registered, or if you need to update your address, do so online here through Oct. 18 at 11:59 p.m. Mail-in forms must be postmarked by Oct. 6. Visit the Board of Election Commisioners site for full details on registering. You can also register to vote or update your address at any early voting site (open through Election Day) or at your polling site on Election Day.
You’ll need ID to register or update your address. To register online, you’ll need an Illinois driver’s license or state ID. For in-person registration, you’ll need two forms of ID, and one of them must have your current address. You can use things like state ID, university ID, pay stubs, leases and utility bills for ID. Find a full list of acceptable ID documents here.
For the youngsters out there, you need to have been born on or before Nov 3, 2002, to vote in this election. Ex-convicts who have been released, including those on parole, and who meet other requirements can vote.
How to Vote
Once registered, you’ve got a few options to cast your vote.
Mail-in voting: You can request a mail-in ballot online until 5 p.m. on Oct. 29. You’ll get a ballot in the mail that you can fill out and mail back. You can also deliver it to the Election Board (69 W. Washington, Sixth Floor), any early voting site or the new drop-off boxes (which are located at the Election Board and the early voting sites). Mail-in ballots must be delivered or postmarked by Nov. 3. Find out more about mail-in voting here.
Early voting: Chicagoans got started early voting on Oct. 1, when the Loop “Super Site” (191 N. Clark St.) opened. You can vote there through Election Day, or at any of the 50 ward-specific early voting sites from Oct. 14 through Election Day. Find the full list of sites here, but some close ones for Logan Square are:
- Ward 35 – NEIU El Centro, 3390 N. Avondale Ave.
- Ward 32 – Pulaski Elementary School, 2230 W. McLean Ave.
- Ward 26 – Casals Elementary School 3501, W. Potomac Ave.
- Ward 1 – Goldblatts Building, 1615 W. Chicago Ave.
- Ward 33 – Bateman Elementary School, 4220 N. Richmond St.
- Ward 31 – Falconer Elementary School, 3020 N. Lamon Ave.
Election Day: You can vote at your specific precinct polling site on Election Day. Find yours here.
If you’re already registered and voting on Election Day at the correct precinct site for your registered address, you won’t need ID to vote in person — unless your signature does not match or the election judge challenges your elligibility. Similarly, at early voting sites, you won’t need ID if already registered. It’s probably a good idea to bring ID in case of any issue, though. Find out more about ID requirements here.
What’s on the Ballot?
A couple of dudes named Don and Joe are running for a pretty important office, you may have heard. There’s more than the presidential election on the ballot, though. For one thing, you get to weigh in on the graduated income tax amendment, which would allow higher income tax rates for higher incomes in Illinois. Other national, state and local races are also up for a vote this year.
You can get a sample ballot with your other voter information at the Chicago Board of Elections site. Find out more about what’s on your ballot at sites like BallotReady or from the League of Women Voters of Illinois Voter Guide. For example, a ballot for my Logan Square address shows elections for U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, U.S. Rep. Jesús G. “Chuy” García, Illinois Rep. Will Guzzardi, and a slew of Cook County judges. (Visit this guide or this Chicago Bar Association site for ratings on the often-unfamiliar judges.)
Featured image: LoganSquarist