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Illinois Voting Quick Facts

Who Can Register to vote in Illinois

To register to vote in the State of Illinois, an individual must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be a United States Citizen
  • Be at least 18 years of age by Election Day;
  • Be a resident of the precinct at least 30 days prior to Election Day.
  • Not be convicted and in jail
  • Not claim the right to vote anywhere else

Learn more about Who Can Register To Vote in Illinois?

How Do I Register To Vote in Illinois

Voting At The Polls On Election Day


Regular elections are held on the third Tuesday in March (primary) and the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November (general) of even-numbered years. In odd-numbered years, some jurisdictions have a primary on the last Tuesday in February and all jurisdictions have an election on the first Tuesday of April (consolidated).

Each voter must vote at his/her precinct polling place. Check your polling place location with the election authority for your jurisdiction.

Instructions for First Time Voters Who Registered by Mail

  • If you register by mail, you must vote in person the first time, either at the polling place, in-person absentee or early voting, unless you submit with your mail-in registration form your driver license number or state ID number, the last four digits of your social security number, or one of the forms of ID listed below. Voters voting under the provisions of UOCAVA and the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act do not have to vote in person for the first time after having registered by mail.

Any of the following IDs may be used:

  • A current and valid photo identification
  • Utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • Government check
  • Paycheck
  • Lease or contract for residence
  • Student ID and mail addressed to voter's residence
  • Government document

The above listed forms of ID must show your name and address and must be presented to the election officials before being permitted to vote. If you do not present a required form of identification either at the time of submitting your mail-in registration or at the time of voting, you may vote a Provisional Ballot.

Voting Rights

  • Voters whose names do not appear on the poll list, or are unable to comply with the identification requirements for mail-in registrants, are entitled to vote by provisional ballot if they declare they are registered to vote in the jurisdiction and eligible to vote in the election.

Learn more about Illinois: Voting at the Polls on Election Day

Who Can Vote in Primary Elections in Illinois

Both Democrats and Republicans hold Semi-Closed Primaries

Voting In Primaries

In a Primary Election you will be required to call for the ballot of the party for which you wish to vote. You may call for the ballot of any party conducting a primary and may change party from one primary to the next.


Any time a public question is submitted to the voters in a primary, the question will appear on the party primary ballots; however, you may vote the public question without declaring a party affiliation by requesting a Non-partisan ballot containing the question only.

Click here for additional information

Who Can Vote Absentee in Illinois


  • Any qualified elector of the State of Illinois who is properly registered to vote may apply for a vote by mail ballot.
  • Any registered or non-registered member of the United States Armed Forces while on active duty, members of the Merchant Marines, and/or U.S. Government employee serving outside the U.S., as well as his/her spouse and dependent(s)* who expect to be absent from their county of residence on Election Day may apply for a vote by mail ballot.
  • Any registered and non-registered citizen of the United States, temporarily out of the country, and his/her spouse and dependent(s) of voting age when residing with or accompanying him/her, who maintain a precinct residence in a county in this State may apply for a vote by mail ballot.
  • Any State or federal employee (and their spouse) who had a voting residence in the precinct at the time he/she entered employment, but who now resides elsewhere due to state or federal employment, may retain his/her voting rights in that precinct.
  • Dependent children of military members who have never resided in Illinois are eligible to vote,and may also vote by mail.


  • A voter must obtain an application for a vote by mail ballot, either by mail, in person or online (if available) from his/her election authority (county clerk or board of election commissioners). These applications may also be produced, reproduced or distributed by anyone. Upon receiving the application, the voter completes and returns it to the election authority. It must include his/her name; home address; address where he/she wants the ballot mailed; party affiliation for a primary election; and signature*
  • The completed application must then be returned to the election authority with in the appropriate time frame. Such ballot shall be delivered to the elector only upon separate application by the elector for each election.
  • If application is made electronically, and the applicant has properly filled it out, a signature is not required.


  • In Person: Not more than 90 days nor less than 1 day prior to the election.
  • By Mail inside the US:Not more than 90 days or less than 5 days prior to the election.
  • By Mail outside the US:Not less than 30 days prior to the election to receive full ballot or; Less than 30 days prior to the election, but more than 10 days prior to the election to receive a Federal Ballot only.

What If My Address Has Changed

If I move,can I still vote?

  • If you moved within 27 days of the election in the same precinct you can vote a full ballot by signing an affidavit.
  • If you moved more than 30 days before the election within the same election jurisdiction, but outside your precinct, and did not transfer your registration, you my grace- period update your registration through Election Day and then grace-period vote; alternativelyyou may vote for federal offices only after completing an address correction form.
  • If you moved within 30 days before the election outside of your precinct, but you still live in the State, and did not transfer your registration, you may grace-period update your registration to your new address through Election Day and grace- period vote, or vote a full ballot in your old polling place after completing an affidavit.
  • If you moved more than 30 days before the election out of your county or municipality under a board of election commissioners and did not transfer your registration, you can only vote by re-registering from your new address.

College Student

  • At School. Students can establish residency in Illinois if they have a present intention to remain at their Illinois school address for the time being, and they intend to make it their principal home. Any other interpretation of the residency laws is unconstitutional.[14] In practice, the state elections division lets students choose whether they want to register at their previous address or at their school address. However, Illinois courts have indicated that they will presume that students have a permanent abode at their parents’ address.

Learn more about Movers/college students Voting

Have A Question?

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When Is The Next Election?

Upcoming Elections Calendar - Election dates and deadlines - Check Illinois upcoming elections schedule

Poll Hours: 6:00 AM-7:00 PM

The polls at the election will be open at 6:00 o'clock A.M. and will continue to be open until 7:00 o'clock P.M. of that day.

How can I find my polling location?

If you do not know where your polling place is,you can use to Find Your Polling Place. If you have any issues or questions, please contact your County Clerk

Can I Register At The Polls On Election Day?


voters will be able to register at their local precincts. In smaller counties that lack the resources to handle in-precinct registration, same day registration will be available in the county clerk’s main office and certain large towns.

Can I Take Time Off For Voting?

Every employee is entitled, after giving notice, to two hours off work, provided that the employee's working hours begin less than 2 hours after the opening of the polls and end less than 2 hours before the closing of the polls.

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