Last update: Sep 20, 2023 07:27 a.m. EDT
Last update: Sep 19, 2023 11:06 a.m. UTC
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These guides are researched, written, and updated by Democracy Works, a non-partisan 501(c)(3) registered non-profit organization, to inform voters via TurboVote and other partners. The information in these guides originates from official state sources and is reviewed by state election offices. The guides also link to authoritative state and local resources to provide additional information.
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Illinois offers online voter registration. You can register by mail to vote in Illinois by printing a voter registration form, filling it out, and mailing it to your local election authority. You can also register to vote in person if you prefer.
Who can register to vote?
To register in Illinois you must:
- be a citizen of the United States
- be a resident of Illinois and of your election precinct at least 30 days before the next election
- be 18 years old to vote in a Consolidated or General Election or 17 years old to vote in a Consolidated Primary or General Primary Election if you will be 18 by the time of the Consolidated or General Election
- cannot be serving a sentence of confinement in any penal institution as a result of conviction of any crime
- not claim the right to vote anywhere else
Can I register to vote online?
- Illinois offers online voter registration.
- You should know: you need an Illinois driver's license or ID and a Social Security number to use Illinois's online voter registration system. If you don't have an Illinois-issued ID, you can still register by mail to vote.
Can I submit voter registration forms by mail?
Yes, you can print, complete and mail the National Voter Registration Form to register to vote in Illinois.
Here’s some advice on how to complete the form:
Here’s some advice on how to complete the form:
- Box 6 - ID Number
- You must provide your Illinois driver's license number or state ID card number.
If you do not provide identification information, you will be required to provide election officials with one form of identification the first time you vote at a voting place or by absentee ballot. Find forms of proof of identification from the Illinois State Board of Elections.
- If you do not have a driver's license or state ID, include at least the last four digits of your Social Security number (SSN).
- If you do not have an Illinois driver’s license, state ID, or SSN, write "NONE.” A unique identifier will be assigned to you by the State.
- If you do not have a driver’s license, state ID, or SSN and you have not registered in Illinois before, you should include with your mail-in registration application a copy of one form of proof of identification.
- Box 7 - Choice of Party: Illinois does NOT require that you register with a party to participate in partisan primary elections. Illinois allows unaffiliated voters to publicly choose the party ballot they wish to vote on primary election day.
- Box 8 - Race or Ethnic Group: Leave blank. This information is not required.
- Review the "Who can register to vote?" section above and check that you're eligible.
- Sign the form.
- Send the completed form to your local election authority
What if I'm registering to vote for the first time in your jurisdiction and are mailing this registration application?
- If you are registering to vote for the first time in your jurisdiction and are mailing this registration application, Federal law requires you to show proof of identification the first time you vote. Proof of identification includes:
- A current and valid photo identification or
- A current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or government document that shows your name and address.
- More information here.
Can I register to vote on Election Day?
Illinois does offer in person registration on Election Day.
Can I submit voter registration forms in person?
- You can also register to vote in person. Contact your local election authority for information on when and where to register to vote.
- You can also register to vote and cast a ballot in person on Election Day.
- Learn more by visiting the Illinois State Board of Elections's website or contacting your local election authority.
How do I get help registering to vote?
If you’d like more help planning how to register, TurboVote can walk you through the process! They can also help you start the absentee/mail-in ballot request process, send you election reminders, and more.
How do I vote if I'm in the military or live overseas?
Active-duty military, their families, and overseas citizens can register to vote and request their absentee ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). The FPCA process is done by mail, but your state may offer other options to request and return ballots. Please contact your local election authority for more information about delivery and return methods, including email, fax, and state online portals. To follow the FPCA process:
- Fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), or download a copy. Your local election authority may have questions, so please provide an email address or phone number where they can reach you.
- Send the application to your local election authority.
- It is never too early to submit an FPCA! Please do so as soon as possible.
- Please fill out and send back your ballot as soon as you receive it.
- States begin mailing absentee ballots at least 45 days before Election Day. If you haven't received your ballot by 30 days before Election Day, contact your local election authority.
If after submitting your FPCA, your ballot does not arrive, contact your local election authority first. Then:
- You can still vote using the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). Print, sign, and mail your FWAB to your local election authority.
- If you mail a FWAB and then receive your regular absentee ballot, you should complete and mail your absentee ballot also. Election officials will ensure that only one ballot is counted.
How can I check my voter registration status?
You can look up your voter registration record and verify that your information is correct using Illinois's voter registration lookup tool.
Which election office should I contact?
- In Illinois, your local election authority runs the elections in your area. They can help you with questions about registering to vote, voting by mail, and local elections.
- The State Board of Elections oversees elections and election administration in Illinois. They can help you with questions about voting in your state, election security, or issues you might have at the polls. If you have concerns about voter intimidation, reach out immediately.
How do I contact my local election office?
Visit your state’s site to find your local election authority.