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Election Administration in Illinois

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Election Types and Dates

Election Dates

Upcoming Primary Elections

The primary election for President, Congress, and state and local offices is March 15, 2016.

Upcoming General Elections

The general election is November 8, 2016.

How is a nominee determined?

How is a nominee determined (caucus, primary, convention)?

Primaries.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/7-5 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/7-2 [link]

Political Party Affiliation

Can voters register by party in the state?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/4-8 [link]

Must voters be registered with a political party if they would like to vote on that party’s candidates in a partisan primary election (i.e., are primaries open or closed)?

No, Illinois's primary elections are open. Voters can request at the polls which party's ballot they would like to vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/7-44 [link]

When can a voter change or switch their party affiliation?

Voters do not register by party in Illinois. They must simply declare their affiliation at the polling place to receive a ballot.

Source (confirmed on: 2014-8-4)

http://www.elections.il.gov/Downloads/VotingInformation/PDF/R-19.pdf [link]

10 ILCS 5/7-43 [link]

Voter Registration

Who Can Vote?

What are the state's residency requirements for voters?

Before registering to vote, a person must have lived in Illinois and in their election district 30 days before the election, or have lived and registered to vote in one election district in Illinois 30 days before the election and moved to their current election district during those 30 days.

A homeless person must have a mailing address to be eligible to register to vote. The homeless person's mailing address constitutes their residence for voting purposes. A mailing address of a homeless person may include, but is not limited to, a shelter, a day shelter, or a private residence. Homeless persons who register with a deputy registrar must show evidence of their use of the mailing address stated. This use may be demonstrated by a piece of mail addressed to that individual and received at that address or by a statement from a person authorizing use of the mailing address.

Can someone pre-register to vote if they will not be 18 years old by the next election? If so, who?

Yes, 17-year-olds can register to vote only if they will be 18 years old by the next general election, even if they will not be 18 by the next primary election.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/5-2 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/4-2 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/3-6 [link]

Can 17-year-olds who will be 18-year-olds by the general election vote in the primary?

Yes, but only in general primary elections. Other primary elections, such as special primary elections, require voters be at least 18 years old.

Does the state take away the right to vote from persons convicted of certain crimes? If so, what crimes?

A person loses the right to vote if they have been convicted of any crime (felony or misdemeanor) or any election violation and they are serving a prison sentence, include any period they are under a furlough or in a work release program. A person does not lose the right to vote while on probation or parole.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

Ill. Const. art. III, § 2 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/3-5 [link]

If people lose the right to vote because of a criminal conviction, can they regain the right to vote? How?

Voting rights are restored automatically after release from prison. People may need to re-register to vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

730 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/5-5-5(c) [link]

Voter Registration Options

Is fully online voter registration available? (i.e., can voters fill in and submit an online application without printing and signing it?)

Yes. Click here to access the online voter registration application.

However, if a person does not have an Illinois driver's license or state ID, then they must print the application and mail it in.

Does the state accept the National Mail Registration Form?

Yes. Click here to download the form.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

National Mail Voter Registration Form [link]

Is the state required to register voters at public assistance agencies and driver's license agencies, per the National Voter Registration Act of 1993?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

U.S. Department of Justice website [link]

Student-Specific Rules

Does the state have specific rules on students registering to vote or voting?

A student can register at their school address if they have the current intent to remain there. Otherwise, they must register at their non-school address (which is usually the address of their parents).

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/3-1 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/3-2(a) [link]

Voter Registration Deadlines

When is the voter registration deadline?

28 days before Election Day, if the person wishes to register to vote by mail or online. However, a voter can still register to vote (or update their registration address) in person after this deadline, as follows:

  • Starting the 27th day before Election Day and ending when the polls close on Election Day itself, a person may register to vote in person at (1) the county election authority's office, or (2) at a permanent early voting sites.
  • Starting on the 15th day before Election Day, a person can also register to vote in person at temporary early vote locations.
  • On Election Day itself, a person can also register to vote at a polling place. However, in counties with a population of less than 100,000 that do not have electronic poll books, the county election authority may choose not to allow Election Day voter registration at polling places if the county election authority instead allows Election Day voter regisration at both (1) the election authority's main office, and (2) at a polling place in each municipality where 20% or more of the county's residents live if the election authority's main office is not located in that municipality.
  • At other grace-period voter registration locations at times designated by the election authority

A person who registers to vote (or updates their registration address) 27 or fewer days before Election Day must vote in person at the time they register. The person can vote by mail only if the county election authority does not have ballots prepared in their office when the person registers.

The period beginning the 27th day before Election Day and ending when the polls close on Election Day itself is called the "grace period."

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/1A-16.5(l) (online registration deadline) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/5-50 (grace period registration) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/5-9 (mail registration deadline) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/4-10 (mail registration deadline) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/4-50 (grace period registration) [link]

How is the deadline enforced for mailed applications?

The application must be postmarked no later than the day of the voter registration deadline.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

Ill. Admin. Code tit. 26, § 216.70(c) [link]

How is the deadline enforced for online applications?

The application must be submitted no later than 11:59pm on the day of the voter registration deadline.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/1A-16.5(l) [link]

When must a voter make changes to their registration for the changes to be in effect before the person seeks to vote?

28 days before Election Day, if the voter wishes to update their information by submitting a voter registration application bymail or online. However, a voter can still update their registration address in person after this deadline, as follows:

  • Starting the 27th day before Election Day and ending when the polls close on Election Day itself, a person may update their address in person at (1) the county election authority's office, or (2) at a permanent early voting sites.
  • Starting on the 15th day before Election Day, a person can also update their address in person at temporary early vote locations.
  • On Election Day itself, a person can also update their address at a polling place. However, in counties with a population of less than 100,000 that do not have electronic poll books, the county election authority may choose not to allow Election Day address updates at polling places if the county election authority instead allows Election Day address updates at both (1) the election authority's main office, and (2) at a polling place in each municipality where 20% or more of the county's residents live if the election authority's main office is not located in that municipality.
  • Voters can also register at other grace-period voter registration locations at times designated by the election authority.

A person who updates their address 27 or fewer days before Election Day must vote in person at the time they update their address. The person can vote by mail only if the county election authority does not have ballots prepared in their office when the person registers.

Additionally, a person who has changed their name can update their voter registration record with their new name at the polling place on Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/4-16 (name updates) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/5-23 (name updates) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/5-50 (address updates) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/4-50 (address updates) [link]

Voter Registration Drives

Does the state require organizations conducting voter registration drives to register?

No; however, election authorities are required to limit the number of the National Mail Voter Registration Booklets supplied to an organization conducting a voter registration drive to 50. Requests for the National Mail Voter Registration Booklet in quantities exceeding 50 must be referred to the State Board of Elections, which must, prior to filling the request, require the organization making such a request to submit in writing a copy of its plan to distribute the booklets, including the states in which the organization intends to distribute the booklet and the quantities to be distributed in each state. The State Board of Elections must deny the request if such a written plan is not submitted, and must substitute the Voter Registration Application for any quantities of the National Mail Voter Registration Booklet intended for distribution in Illinois. The State Board of Elections must charge the requesting party the actual cost of reproducing the National Mail Voter Registration Booklet for any quantities requested over 200.

In addition, there is a statute relating to deputy registrars that does require registration. It also places a number of restrictions on the organization and collectors. The statute does not by its terms prohibit others who are not deputized from participating in voter registration activities, but one state, Texas, has interpreted a similar statute that did not contain a prohibition to require every individual that collects applications to become a deputy registrar.

It is recommended that organizations intending to conduct a major voter registration drive contact their election authority. Groups that want to bypass the deputization process and simply distribute and collect the one-page voter registration applications—rather than directly registering people as a deputy—should contact their local election officials to confirm whether they will accept applications that are turned in by the organization rather than the applicant.

Any person who knowingly fails or refuses to comply with any lawful order of an election authority issued by the election authority in the performance of the duties of the election authority, is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. Further, except with respect to Article 9 of the election code, any person who knowingly does any act the election code prohibits or declares unlawful, or fails to do any act the election code requires, is (unless the election code prescribes a different punishment) guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

Are there restrictions on getting voter registration forms?

The State Board of Elections must make the voter registration form available in regular paper stock and in sufficient quantities for the general public. The State Board of Elections may provide the voter registration form to the Secretary of State, county clerks, boards of election commissioners, designated agencies of the State of Illinois, and any other person or entity designated to have these forms by the Election Code in regular paper stock and form or some other format deemed suitable by the Board.

The State Board of Elections, county clerks, boards of election commissioners, or other designated agencies of the State of Illinois required to have these forms under the Election Code must provide a member of the public with any reasonable number of forms that he or she may request. Election officials are not permitted to refuse to accept a voter registration form because the form is printed on photocopier or regular paper stock and form.

If the person is a deputy registrar, they must use forms specific to deputy registrars and not the mail form.

In addition, requests for the National Mail Voter Registration Booklet in quantities exceeding 50 must be referred to the State Board of Elections, which must, prior to filling the request, require the organization making such a request to submit in writing a copy of its plan to distribute the booklets, including the states in which the organization intends to distribute the booklet and the quantities to be distributed in each state. The State Board of Elections must deny the request if such a written plan is not submitted, and must substitute the Voter Registration Application for any quantities of the National Mail Voter Registration Booklet intended for distribution in Illinois. The State Board of Elections must charge the requesting party the actual cost of reproducing the National Mail Voter Registration Booklet for any quantities requested over 200.

Does the state require any training in order to conduct voter registration drives?

There is no training requirement if the person is not a deputy registrar.

Does the state have restrictions on who may help others register to vote?

The law does not address restrictions on persons who are not deputized.

Does the state have restrictions on paying drive workers, or additional rules related to payment?

Illinois law does not address restrictions on persons who are not deputized. Deputy registrars are compensated by the county board of elections.

Are there restrictions on the voter registration drive offering something of value to a person in exchange for completing a voter registration application?

Under state law, knowingly giving, lending or promising to give or lend any money or other valuable consideration to any other person to influence that person to register to vote is a Class 4 felony.

Federal law states that whoever ""pays or offers to pay or accepts payment either for registration to vote or for voting shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than five years."" At least one federal appellate court has interpreted ""payment"" as ""intended to include forms of pecuniary value offered or given directly to an individual voter, and indicated the value should be based on ""an assessment of the monetary worth of an item from the perspective of the voter receiving the item."" That case held that food vouchers could be ""payment.""

Must the registration drive worker sign the completed voter registration application, and must the drive or canvasser place other information on applications?

There is no requirement if the person is not a deputy registrar.

Does the state have a rule requiring a receipt or other tracking information to be provided to the applicant?

No.

Are there restrictions on copying completed voter registration applications prior to submitting them to the election official, or other restrictions on data entry or disclosure?

Illinois law does not address this issue.

Is there a time limit for voter registration groups to submit the voter registration applications they collect?

For an applicant to be eligible to vote on Election Day without registering in person during the “grace period,” the group must submit the application no later than the 28th day prior to that election. Additional limits apply to deputy registrars.

What are the consequences for failing to submit applications on time?

Illinois law does not specifically address this issue.

Same-Day Registration

Can voters register and vote on the same day (i.e., does the state offer same-day registration)?

Yes, people can register to vote during the early voting period and also on Election Day. Voter registration that occurs 27 days before Election Day and ending when the polls close on Election Day itself is called "grace period" voter registration:

  • Starting the 27th day before Election Day and ending when the polls close on Election Day itself, a person may register to vote in person at (1) the county election authority's office, or (2) at a permanent early voting sites.
  • Starting on the 15th day before Election Day, a person can also register to vote in person at temporary early vote sites.
  • On Election Day itself, a person can also register to vote at a polling place. However, in counties with a population of less than 100,000 that do not have electronic poll books, the county election authority may choose not to allow Election Day voter registration at polling places if the county election authority instead allows Election Day voter regisration at both (1) the election authority's main office, and (2) at a polling place in each municipality where 20% or more of the county's residents live if the election authority's main office is not located in that municipality.
  • Voters can also register at other grace-period voter registration locations designated by the election authority.
Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/5-50 (grace period registration) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/4-50 (grace period registration) [link]

Voters Who Have Moved or Changed Their Name

Can people vote if they moved, but did not update their voter registration with their new address?

Yes. A voter can still update their registration address in person after the voter registration deadline as follows:

  • Starting the 27th day before Election Day and ending when the polls close on Election Day itself, a person may their address in person at (1) the county election authority's office, or (2) at a permanent early voting sites.
  • Starting on the 15th day before Election Day, a person can also update their address in person at temporary early vote locations
  • On Election Day itself, a person can also update their address at a polling place. However, in counties with a population of less than 100,000 that do not have electronic poll books, the county election authority may choose not to allow Election Day address updates at polling places if the county election authority instead allows Election Day address updates at both (1) the election authority's main office, and (2) at a polling place in each municipality where 20% or more of the county's residents live if the election authority's main office is not located in that municipality.
  • Voters can also register at other grace-period voter registration locations at times designated by the county election authority.

A person who updates their address 27 or fewer days before Election Day must vote in person at the time they update their address. The person can vote by mail only if the county election authority does not have ballots prepared in their office when the person registers.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/4-50 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/5-50 [link]

Can people vote if they have changed their name, but did not update their voter registration with their new name?

A person who has changed their name can update their voter registration record with their new name at the polling place on Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/5-23 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/4-16 [link]

Language, Literacy, and Disability Access

Language and Literacy Access

Does the state have any places that must provide election materials in languages other than English, per Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965?

Yes; the following counties must provide election materials in the following languages:

  • Cook County - Asian Indian, Chinese, Spanish
  • DuPage County - Spanish
  • Kane County - Spanish
  • Lake County - Spanish
Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

Voting Rights Act Amendments of 2006, Determinations Under Section 203, 76 Fed. Reg. 63602 (Oct. 13, 2011) [link]

Does the state have any other rules about providing election materials in languages other than English?

The State Board of Elections must create English and Spanish versions of voter registration applications, and it may choose to provide voter registration applications in other languages as well. Additionally, the State Board of Elections may choose to translate the state's voter guide into non-English languages.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/1A-16 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12A-5 [link]

Who can help a voter with reading assistance or translation if they can't vote on their own?

Under Section 208 of the federal Voting Rights Act, any voter who requires assistance to vote due to inability to read or write may be given assistance by a person of the voter's choice, other than the voter's employer, an agent of that employer, or an officer or agent of the voter's union.

Under state law, any voter who requires assistance to vote due to the inability to read or write English may be assisted by either 2 election judges of different political parties or by any other person of the voter's choice other than the voter's employer, an agent of that employe, or an officer or agent of the voter's union. The voter must state specifically the reason why they cannot vote without assistance and, in the case of a voter with a physical disability, what the physical disability is. The election judges must note in the poll lists or official poll record that the voter received assistance and indicate whether the disability is permanent. Additionally, if a person other than 2 election judges assists the voter, that person must sign an oath, swearing not to influence the voter's choice of candidates, party, or votes, and to cast the ballot as directed by the voter.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

52 U.S.C. § 10508 (federal law) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/7-48 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/17-14 [link]

Disability Access

Who can help a voter with a disability if they can't vote on their own?

Under Section 208 of the federal Voting Rights Act, any voter who requires assistance to vote due to inability to read or write may be given assistance by a person of the voter's choice, other than the voter's employer, an agent of that employer, or an officer or agent of the voter's union.

Under state law, any voter who requires assistance to vote due to blindness or physical disability may be assisted by either 2 election judges of different political parties or by any other person of the voter's choice other than the voter's employer, an agent of that employe, or an officer or agent of the voter's union. The voter must state specifically the reason why they cannot vote without assistance and, in the case of a voter with a physical disability, what the physical disability is. The election judges must note in the poll lists or official poll record that the voter received assistance and indicate whether the disability is permanent. Additionally, if a person other than 2 election judges assists the voter, that person must sign an oath, swearing not to influence the voter's choice of candidates, party, or votes, and to cast the ballot as directed by the voter.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

52 U.S.C. § 10508 (federal law) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/7-48 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/17-14 [link]

Does the state have other rules related to access for persons with disabilities?

Curbside voting is available to people with disabilities who cannot access or enter their polling place. Two election judges of different political parties will deliver a ballot to the voter in an area within 50 feet of the polling place's entrance along with a marking device and an enclosure to ensure the voter's privacy. After the voter marks the ballot, the election judges will return the ballot to the polling place.

Additionally, the following people who apply at least 5 days before an election can have ballots delivered to where they live by two election judges of different political parties:

  • A person who lives in a federally operated veterans' home, hospital, or facility located in Illinois; or
  • A person who lives in a facility licensed or certified pursuant to the Nursing Home Care Act, the Specialized Mental Health Rehabilitation Act of 2013, the ID/DD Community Care Act, or the MC/DD Act, if the person has a condition or disability that makes it improbable that they will be able to go to the polls at any future election.

Finally, special rules apply to the following people if they have a "voter's identification card for peorsons with disabilities" or a "nursing home resident's identification card" and choose to vote absentee by mail:

  • A person who has a permanent physical incapacity that makes it improbable that they will be able to go to the polls at any future election; or
  • A person who has a "Illinois Person with a Disability Identification Card" which indicates the voter has a Class 1A or Class 2 disability; or
  • A person who lives in a federally operated veterans' home, hospital, or facility located in Illinois; or
  • A person who lives in a facility licensed or certified pursuant to the Nursing Home Care Act, the Specialized Mental Health Rehabilitation Act of 2013, the ID/DD Community Care Act, or the MC/DD Act, if the person has a condition or disability that makes it improbable that they will be able to go to the polls at any future election.

Such people may apply for a "voter's identification card for persons with disabilities" or a "nursing home resident's identification card" by either (1) making a written application, with voter's sworn affidavit, to the county clerk or board of election commissioners, as the case may be, and shall be accompanied by the affidavit of the attending physician specifically describing the nature of the physical incapacity or the fact that the voter is a nursing home resident and is physically unable to be present at the polls on election days; or (b) by presenting, in writing or otherwise, to the county clerk or board of election commissioners proof that the applicant has secured an Illinois Person with a Disability Identification Card indicating that the person named thereon has a Class 1A or Class 2 disability.

People with one of these cards who apply to vote an absentee ballot by mail should include their card's identifiation number on their application, and the application does not need to be sworn too. Additionally, when receiving the ballot, the statements that need to be subscribed to by the voter will appear on the ballot envelope instead of in a seperate affidvait.

Illinois does not disenfranchise any person due to mental incapacity.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/19-12.1 (special rules) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/19-12.2 (delivery) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/17-13 (curbside voting) [link]

Early Voting, Absentee Voting, and Other Ways to Vote

Vote-by-Mail

Does the state provide mail ballots to all voters without a request?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/19-2 [link]

Early Voting/Absentee In-Person Voting

Does the state have early voting/absentee in-person voting?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/19A-5 [link]

Where does early voting/absentee in-person voting take place?

Early voting occurs at (1) the local election authority's office, (2) "permanent" early voting locations, and (3) "temporary" early voting locations. Click here to view a list of early voting locations for each jurisdiction

Permanent early voting locations can include any county or local agency office. At a minimum, the county election authority must establish the following number of permanent early voting locations in general primary elections and general elections:

  • In a county with a population of 100,000 or less, no minimum number of permanent early voting locations is required;
  • In a county with a population over 100,000 but under 250,000, at least 1 permanent early voting location is required.
  • In a county with a population of 250,000 or more, at least 1 permanent early voting location is required in each of the county's three largest municipalities. For any of these municipalities has a population over 80,000, at least 2 permanent early voting locations are required in those municipalities.

Additionally, each board of election commissioners in any city, village, or incorporated town with a population over 100,000 must establish at least 2 permanent early voting locations within the municipality.

The county election authority may establish additional permanent early voting locations than the required minimums. Additionally, the county election authority may establish temporary early voting locations at any suitable location, including private properties, at their discretion.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/19A-20 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/19A-10 [link]

When does early voting/absentee in-person voting take place?

The early voting period begins the 40th day before Election Day and ends the day before Election Day. During this period, voters can vote early in the county election authority's office.

Generally, permanent and temporary early voting locations can open as early as the 40th day before Election Day and close as late as the day before Election Day, at the election authority's discretion. However, permanent early voting locations must, at a minimum, open on the 15th day before Election Day and remain open through the end of the day on the day before Election Day. During this 15-day period, permanent early voting locations must be open during the following hours:

  • 15 days and 9 days before Election Day, during the hours of 8:30am to 4:30pm or the hours of 9:00am to 5:00pm on weekdays. Permanent early voting locations are not required to be open on weekends.
  • Between 9 days and 1 day before Election Day, during the hours of 8:30am to 7:00pm or 9:00am to 7:00pm on weekdays. On Saturdays and holidays, they must be open during the hours of 9:00am and 12:00pm, and on Sundays, during the hours of 9:00am to 4:00pm.

Additionally, any permanent early voting location that is required to be established because the county or municipality has a population over 100,000 must be open at least 8 hours during any holiday in the early voting period and at least 14 total hours during the final weekend in the early voting period.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/19A-15 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/19A-10 [link]

What official chooses early voting/absentee in-person voting locations?

The county election authority, who shares responsibilities in municipalities with boards of election commissioners.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/19A-20 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/19A-10 [link]

Are lists of early voters/absentee in-person voters published? How?

Each county election authority must maintain a list of people who voted early. This information is maintained on a secure website that registered state and local political committees can request access by contacting the State Board of Elections.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/19A-5(c) [link]

Ill. Admin. Code tit. 26, § 207.150(d)-(g) [link]

Absentee Voting by Mail

Can anyone vote absentee by mail without an excuse? If not, what excuses allow a voter to vote absentee by mail?

Yes, any person may vote absentee by mail in Illinois. No excuse is required.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/19-1 [link]

Deadline to apply for absentee ballot by mail

If the application is submitted by mail or electronically, it must be received no later than 5 days before Election Day. If the application is submitted in person, it must be submitted no later than 1 day before Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/19-2 [link]

How does a voter apply for an absentee mail ballot?

The voter can obtain an application for absentee ballot, either by mail or in person, from their local election authority. Some counties also allow voters to request an application on their website. Voters must then complete and submit their application either by mail, in person, or electronically if the local election authority allows electronic submissions.

Alternatively, a voter can submit a letter requesting their absentee ballot that includes their name; home address; address where they want the ballot mailed; party affiliation for a primary election; and signature.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

Ill. State Bd. of Elections, Voting by Mail in Illinois [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/19-3 [link]

Can a voter make an online request for an absentee mail ballot?

Yes, if the local election authority allows it on their website.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/19-3 [link]

Does a voter need to submit any supporting documentation or verification with an absentee mail ballot or absentee mail ballot application? If so, what is required?

No. The clerk will simply verify the person's signature on the application.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/19-4 [link]

Are there restrictions on who may request or turn in an absentee mail ballot application for a voter?

No. Any person may produce, reproduce, distribute, or return to an election authority the applications.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/19-3 [link]

Deadline to return absentee ballots

Postmark - the ballot must be postmarked by the deadline in order to be counted.

Source (confirmed on: 2014-8-4)

10 ILCS 5/20-2 [link]

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=001000050HArt.+20&ActID=170&ChapterID=3&SeqStart=67900000&SeqEnd=70100000 [link]

Deadline to return absentee ballots

The deadline to return a ballot in person is the time the polls close on Election Day. Mailed ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received no later than 14 days after Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/19-8(b)-(c) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/18A-15(a) [link]

Are there restrictions on who may return a voter's absentee mail ballot for them?

A voter can designate any person to return the ballot for them in person. To do so, the voter and the person they designate must complete the authorization printed on the ballot's exterior envelope.

No person other than the voter can deposit a ballot in the mail, except that voters with disabilities and hospitalized voters can have any employee of the facility in which they are being treated deposit the ballot in the mail for them.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/19-6 [link]

What are absentee ballots sent by mail usually called?

Vote-by-mail ballots

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/19-6 [link]

First-time voters

First-time voters in an Illinois jurisdiction who registered to vote by mail and did provide any of the following forms of ID with their voter registration application cannot vote by mail:

  • The person's Illinois driver's license number or state ID card number (written on the voter registration application); or
  • The last four digits of the person's Social Security number; or
  • A copy of a current and valid photo ID;
  • A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document, so long as it shows the person's name and address; or
  • A copy of a photo ID issued by a college or university accompanied by either a copy of the person's contract or lease for a residence or any postmarked mail delivered to the applicant at their current address.

These persons must vote in person and satisfy Illinois' voter ID requirements (see section below on Voter ID and Challenges).

Source (confirmed on: 1900-01-00)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/5-105 (certain first-time voters in counties with populations of 500,000 or more) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/4-105 (certain first-time voters in counties with populations less than 500,000) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/6-105 (certain first-time voters in counties with populations of 500,000 or more) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/1A-16(a) (certain first-time voters, generally) [link]

Are there any special emergency rules that allow a voter to vote absentee by mail if they are unable to make it to the polls at the last minute?

Yes. Any qualified voter who has been admitted to a hospital, nursing home, or rehabilitation center due to an illness or physical injury not more than 14 days before an election can apply for an absentee mail ballot by:

  • Completing an "Application for Physically Incapacitated Elector" in substantially the following form: "I, ......(voter's name), am a patient in ............... (name of hospital/home/center), ............... located at, ............... (address of hospital/home/center), ............... (county, city/village), was admitted for ............... (nature of illness or physical injury), on ............... (date of admission), and do not expect to be released from the hospital/home/center on or before the day of election or, if released, I am expected to be homebound on the day of the election and unable to travel to the polling place."
  • Submitting this Application to their local election authority with a Physician's Certificate in substantially the following form: "I state that I am a physician, duly licensed to practice in the State of ..........; that ..........(voter's name) is a patient in .......... (name of hospital/home/center), located at ............... (address of hospital/home/center), ............... (county, city/village); that such individual was admitted for ............... (nature of illness or physical injury), on ............... (date of admission); and that I have examined such individual in the State in which I am licensed to practice medicine and do not expect such individual to be released from the hospital/home/center on or before the day of election or, if released, to be able to travel to the polling place on election day. Under penalties as provided by law pursuant to Section 29-10 of The Election Code, the undersigned certifies that the statements set forth in this certification are true and correct. (Signature) (Date licensed)."

Any legal relative of the voter, or any person registered to vote in the voter's precinct, can turn in this Application and Physician's Certificate to the local election authority, who will give that person the ballot to deliver to the voter. That person can then return the ballot for the voter to the local election authority.

Source (confirmed on: 2014-08-04)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/19-13 [link]

Are lists of people who vote absentee by mail published? How?

Each county election authority must maintain a list of people who voted a mail ballot. This information is maintained on a secure website that registered state and local political committees can request access by contacting the State Board of Elections.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/19A-5(c) [link]

Ill. Admin. Code tit. 26, § 207.150(d)-(g) [link]

Presidential-only ballots

Under federal law, any registered voter who moves out of the state after the 30th day before a Presidential election may vote for President and Vice President either in person at the voter’s previous state of residence or using an absentee ballot from the voter’s previous state of residence.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

52 U.S.C. § 10502(e) [link]

Absentee Voting for Military and Overseas Voters

Who is eligible for military/overseas absentee voting?

  1. Members of the United States Armed Forces while on active duty, members of the Merchant Marines, and U.S. Government employees serving outside the U.S., as well as their spouses and dependents who expect to be absent from their county of residence on Election Day. These voters do not need to be registered to vote. These voters may vote in federal, state, and local races.

  2. Citizens of the United States, temporarily out of the country, and their spouses and dependents of voting age when living with or accompanying them, who maintain a home in an Illinois precinct and intend to return to Illinois in the future. These voters may vote in federal, state, and local races as long as they are registered to vote at least 30 days before an election. Otherwise, they will only be allowed to vote in federal races.

  3. Citizens of the United States living outside of the country who previously lived in a home in an Illinois precinct before leaving the country, do not have a residence in another state, are not registered to vote in another state, and whose intent to return to Illinois is uncertain. These voters do not need to register to vote. Thse voters may vote only in federal races.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/20-2.3 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/20-1 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/20-2.2 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/20-2.1 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/20-2 [link]

How do voters apply for a military/overseas ballot?

Military and overseas voters may apply for an absentee ballot in any of the following ways:

  • By electronically submitting an application through the Illinois Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Website; or
  • By submitting a Federal Postcard Application (FPCA); or
  • By obtaining a paper application from the voter's local election authority and returning it by mail or, if the election authority has the capability, by fax or electronic submission.
Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/20-2.3 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/20-2.2 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/20-3 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/20-2.1 [link]

Illinois Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Website [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/20-2 [link]

Deadline to apply for a military/overseas ballot

The application must be received no later than 10 days before Election Day. However, for non-military voters temporarily living outside of the United States, they must also register to vote at least 30 days before Election Day or they will only be able to vote on federal races. For such voters, an application for a ballot also constitutes an application for voter registration if it is received 30 or more days before Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/20-2.3 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/20-2.2 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/20-2.1 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/20-2 [link]

Deadline to apply for a military/overseas ballot

5 days before Election Day for a mailed application or the day before the election, if delivered in person.

Source (confirmed on: 2014-8-4)

10 ILCS 5/19-2 [link]

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=001000050HArt.+19&ActID=170&ChapterID=3&SeqStart=63800000&SeqEnd=66000000 [link]

Deadline to return the military/overseas ballot

Ballots can be returned by mail; in person by the voter or the voter's parent, child, or sibling; or, if the local election authority has the capability, by fax or electronic submission. Mailed ballots must be postmarked no later than midnight on the day before Election Day and received no later than the 14th day following Election Day. Ballots returned by other means must be received by the time the polls close on Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/20-2.3 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/20-2.2 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/20-8 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/20-2.1 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/20-5 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/20-2 [link]

Who is eligible to use a write-in absentee ballot? How does it work?

They may use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) to vote so long as it is received by the deadline.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/20-8(d)-(f) [link]

FVAP Overview [link]

On Election Day

Where do you vote in person?

Where do you vote in person?

At the polling place in the voter's precinct.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/11-1 [link]

What hours are the polls open on Election Day?

What hours are the polls open on Election Day?

6 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/18-2 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/7-5 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/17-1 [link]

In the Voting Booth

Can a voter bring children into the voting booth with them?

Yes, children under 18 years old may accompany their parent or guardian into the voting booth.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

Illinios Poll Watcher Guide, p. 5 [link]

Are employers required to give employees time off to vote?

Are employers required to give employees time off to vote?

Yes, but only for general elections and special elections. For these elections, an employee must be allowed 2 hours off of work on Election Day in order to vote. The employee cannot be penalized for taking the time off, but the employee must inform their employer of their desire to take time off to vote at least one day before Election Day. The employer may decide when during the work day the employee may leave to vote, except that the employer must permit a 2-hour absence during working hours if 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.

For primary elections, a voter can up to 2 hours off off to vote only with the consent of the employer. The employer can specify when the voter may leave.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/7-42 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/17-15 [link]

Campaigning, Electioneering, and Recording Devices

Are there restrictions on campaigning/electioneering during early voting/absentee in-person voting?

During the early voting period, campaigning and displaying political advertisements are prohibited in each early voting location and within 100 feet of them. These activities are allowed elsewhere on the property of the polling place, including the placement of temporary signs. However, if the property is owned by a school or church, the school or church may prohibit all of these activities across the entire property.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/17-29 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/19A-70 [link]

Are there restrictions on campaigning/electioneering on Election Day?

Campaigning, soliciting votes, and political discussions are prohibited in the polling place and within 100 feet of the polling place. These activities are allowed elsewhere on the property of the polling place, including the placement of temporary signs. However, if the property is owned by a school or church, the school or church may prohibit all of these activities across the entire property.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/7-41(c) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/17-29 [link]

Can a voter wear a button or t-shirt with a candidate's name or logo on it into the polling place when they vote?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/7-41(c) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/17-29 [link]

*NEW 1** Can a voter use a digital or recording device (such as a cell phone or camera) inside the polling place or voting booth?

State law does not address the use of digital devices generally; local practices may vary. However, it is illegal to record or take a picture of marking a ballot or of the ballot after marking.

Source (confirmed on: 10/14/2016)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/29-9 [link]

730 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/5-4.5-45 [link]

730 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/5-4.5-50 [link]

*NEW 2** Can a voter use a digital or recording device (such as a cell phone or camera) outside the polling place but within the zone around the polling place where campaigning/electioneering is banned?

State law does not address this issue. Local practices may vary.

Source (confirmed on: 10/14/2016)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/29-9 [link]

Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/17-29 [link]

Who's at the Polls?

Can persons other than election workers observe inside the polls?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/7-34 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/17-23 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/19A-60 [link]

What are observers inside the polls called in the state?

Poll watchers.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/7-34 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/17-23 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/19A-60 [link]

Does the state establish requirements to observe inside the polls?

Yes, in primary and general elections. Only the following people and entities may appoint poll watchers:

  • Each political party may appoint two poll watchers to each precinct (and one to each early voting location). The poll watchers must be affiliated with the political party that appointed them.
  • Each candidate may appoint two poll watchers to each precinct (and one to each early voting location).
  • Each organization of citizens within the county or political subdivision, which has among its purposes or interests the investigation or prosecution of election frauds, and which has registered its name, address, and the namse and addresseses of its principal officers with the proper election authority at least 40 days before the election, may appoint one poll watcher per precinct.
  • Each organized group of proponents or opponents of a ballot proposition, which has registered its name, address, and the name and address of its chairman with the proper election authority at least 40 days before the election, may appoint one poll watcher per precinct.
  • Each "state nonpartisan civic organization" within the county or political subdivision that has registered its name, address, and the namse and addresseses of its principal officers with the proper election authority at least 40 days before the election, may appoint one poll watcher per precinct. However, no more than 2 poll watchers appointed by State nonpartisan civic organizations can be in a precinct polling place at the same time. To be considered a "state nonpartisan civic organization", the organization must be any corporation, unincorporated association, or organization that (1) has proclaimed in writing an interest in th provision of voter information and education, the protection of individual voters' rights, and the promotion of free and equal elections; and (2) is organized or primarily conducts its activities within the State of Illinois; and (3) continuously maintains an office or business location within the State of Illinois, together with a current listed telephone number (a post office box number without a current listed telephone number is not sufficient).

Each poll watcher must be registered to vote in Illinois. Additionally, in an election in a municipality of less than 3,000,000 population that is situated in 2 or more counties, a registered voter who lives in a county in which any part of the municipality is situated is be eligible to serve as a poll watcher in any polling place located within that municipality.

Poll watchers must be appointed in writing and they must present these written credentials to the Election Judges at the polling place.

Candidates can also observe inside the polls on Election Day. Substitute poll watchers can also be appointed.

If a majority of Election Judges determine that the polling place has become too overcrowded with poll watchers so as to interfere with the orderly conduct of the election, the judges must by lot, limit the number poll watchers to a reasonable number. However, each political party must always be allowed to have at least one poll watcher present, and in primary elections, each candidate must also always be allowed to have at least one poll watcher present.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/7-34 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/19-10 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/17-23 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/19A-60 [link]

*NEW 3* Can a poll observer use a digital or recording device (such as a cell phone or camera) in the polling place?

State law does not address this issue, other than to prohibit behavior that is unduly disruptive or compromises the secrecy of the ballot. Local practices may vary.

Source (confirmed on: 10/9/2016)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/17-23 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/17-29 [link]

Illinois Pollwatchers Brochure [link]

Are there other rules on what poll observers can or cannot do?

Poll watchers can:

  • Observe all election proceedings
  • View all reasonably requested records relating to the conduct of the election, except records that destroy the secrecy of voter's ballots
  • Station themselves in a position in the voting room that will allow them to observe the Election Judges making the signature comparison between the voter application and the voter registration record card
  • Challenge the right to vote of any person wishing to cast a ballot
  • Point out to the Election Judges any incorrect procedure or apparent violation of the state's election laws.

Poll watchers cannot:

  • Station themselves in such close proximity to the Election Judges that they interfere with the orderly conduct of the election
  • Handle election material
  • Violate the state's election laws.
Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/7-34 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/17-23 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/19A-60 [link]

Provisional Voting and Voters at the Wrong Polling Place

When should a voter be offered a provisional ballot?

Under Section 203 of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002, if a person claims to be a registered voter in the jurisdiction in which the person desires to vote and the person claims to be eligible to vote in a federal election, but the person’s name does not appear on the official list of eligible voters for the polling place or an election official asserts that the person is not eligible to vote, then that person must be permitted to cast a provisional ballot at that polling place. The person may cast the provisional ballot after executing, before an election official at the polling place, a written affirmation stating that the person is (1) a registered voter in the jurisdiction, and (2) eligible to vote in that election.

Additionally, any person who votes in a federal election as a result of a federal or state court order, or any other order extending the time established for closing the polls by a state law in effect 10 days before the date of that election, may only vote in that election by casting a provisional ballot. Any such ballot cast must be separated and held apart from other provisional ballots cast for different reasons.

Under state law, a person has the right to vote by provisional ballot under any of the following cirumstances:

  • The person's name does not appear on the official list of eligible voters for the precinct in which the person seeks to vote, and the person has refused an opportunity to register at the polling location or another grace period registration site;
  • The person's right to vote has been challenged, and that challenge has been sustained by a majority of Election Judges;
  • The person did not provide identification when registering by mail;
  • The person is voting during a court-ordered extension of when the polls are open;
  • The person registered to vote by mail and is required to show identification when voting, but fails to do so;
  • The voter's name appears on the list of voters who voted during the early voting period, but the voter claims not to have voted during the early voting period;
  • The voter received an vote-by-mail absentee ballot but did not return it to the election authority; or
  • The voter attempted to register to vote on Election Day, but failed to provide the necessary documentation.
Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

52 U.S.C. § 21082 (federal law) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/18A-5(a) [link]

If a voter casts a provisional ballot at the wrong precinct, will the ballot be counted?

If the provisional ballot is cast in the wrong precinct but in the correct county, the provisional ballot will count for those races on the ballot that the voter is eligible to vote on.

Similarly, if the provisional ballot is cast in the wrong precinct, the wrong county, but the correct municipality, the provisional ballot will count for those races on the ballot that the voter is eligible to vote on.

However, if the provisional ballot is cast in the wrong precinct, wrong county, and wrong municipality (if applicable), the provisional ballot will not be counted.

Additionally, if the address the voter lists of the provisional ballot affidavit differs from the voter's voter registration address, the provisional ballot will not count. However, the affidavit will serve as a request to update the voter's voter registration address for future elections.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/18A-218.20 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/18A-218.30 [link]

Following up on a provisional ballot

A provisional voter may, but is not required to, submit to their local election authority additional information that shows they are eligible to vote. If the voter wishes to submit this information, it must be received by the local election authority no later than 7 days after Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/18A-15(d) [link]

Finding out if a provisional ballot was counted

Provisional voters may determine whether their provisional ballot was counted, and if it was not counted, the reasons why it was not counted, by clicking here.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

Illinois Provisional Ballot Search [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/18A-20 [link]

Ballot Shortages/Voting Machine Malfunctions

What is the law or procedure on emergency ballots if a polling place runs out of printed ballots? Are handwritten/photocopied ballots allowed?

If a polling place runs out of ballots, a majority of Election Judges must inform the local election authority, who must immediately deliver additional ballots. The law does not allow the use of handwritten or photocopied ballots in this circumstance.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/16-5 [link]

What is the law or procedure on emergency ballots if a voting machine breaks or malfunctions?

If a voting machine malfunctions, it will be repaired or replaced immediately if possibe. If this is not possible, Election Judges must provide voters with paper ballots, which can be printed or written in any suitable form.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-11 [link]

Voter ID and Challenges

Voter ID

Who must show ID to vote?

Three groups of people must show ID to vote: (1) certain first-time voters, (2) people registering to vote at the polls, and (3) certain people whose right to vote is challenged at the polls.

(1) A person who is voting for the first time in their jurisdiction, if they registered to vote by mail and did not provide at least one of the following forms of ID when registering to vote:

  • The person's Illinois driver's license number or state ID card number; or
  • The last four digits of the person's Social Security number; or
  • A copy of a current and valid photo ID;
  • A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document, so long as it shows the person's name and address; or
  • A copy of a photo ID issued by a college or university accompanied by either a copy of the person's contract or lease for a residence or any postmarked mail delivered to the applicant at their current address.

These persons must show ID when voting.

(2) A voter who is registering to vote on Election Day at the polls must show ID.

(3) A person whose right to vote is challenged at the polls, if the Election Judges do not personally know that the person is qualified to vote, must either (1) show ID or (2) show the Elections Judges an affidavit signed by another person registered to vote in the precinct who vouches that the challenged person lives in the precinct.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/5-105 (certain first-time voters in counties with populations of 500,000 or more) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/6-37 (same-day registration voters in certain municipalities) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/4-105 (certain first-time voters in counties with populations less than 500,000) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/4-10 (same-day registration voters in counties with populations less than 500,000) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/5-9 (same-day registration voters in counties with populations of 500,000 or more) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/6-105 (certain first-time voters in counties with populations of 500,000 or more) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/1A-16(a) (certain first-time voters, generally) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/17-10 (general and special election challenges) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/7-45 (primary election challenges) [link]

Are there any special requirements for first-time voters?

A first-time voter who registered by mail has the right to vote by regular ballot. However, if the voter did not submit sufficient proof of identity with the registration application, he or she must present such proof at the time of voting. Sufficient proof of identity includes submission of the person's driver's license number or State identification card number or, if the person does not have either of those, verification by the last four digits of the person's social security number, a copy of a current and valid photo identification, or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other federal, State, or local government document that shows the person's name and address. A person may also demonstrate sufficient proof of identity by submitting a photo identification issued by a college or university accompanied by either a copy of the applicant's contract or lease for a residence or any postmarked mail delivered to the applicant at his or her current residence address.

Source (confirmed on: 10/27/14)

What ID is acceptable?

(1) For those certain first-time voters who are required to show ID, they must show one of the following forms of ID:

  • A copy of a current and valid photo ID;
  • A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document, so long as it shows the person's name and address; or
  • A copy of a photo ID issued by a college or university accompanied by either a copy of the person's contract or lease for a residence or any postmarked mail delivered to the applicant at their current address.

(2) For voters registering to vote at the polls on Election Day, the voter must show two forms of ID, at least one of which must show the voter's current address, unless the voter is homeless. Acceptable forms of ID include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • 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
  • A civic, union or professional association membership card.

A homeless person must furnish evidence of their mailing address, such as a piece of mail addressed to that person and received at that address or by a statement from a another person authorizing use of the mailing address.

(3) For voters who are challenged on Election Day, they must show either (1) an affidavit of a registered voter in the precinct affirming that the voter lives in the precinct, or (2) two forms of ID that show the voter's current address. One form of identification may be a piece of mail addressed to the person at their current residence address and postmarked not earlier than 30 days before Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/6-37 (same-day registration voters in certain municipalities) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/4-10 (same-day registration voters in counties with populations less than 500,000) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/5-9 (same-day registration voters in counties with populations of 500,000 or more) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/18-5 (challenges in certain municipalities) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/1A-16(a) (certain first-time voters, generally) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/17-10 (general and special election challenges) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/7-45 (primary election challenges) [link]

Is a student ID an acceptable form of identification?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2014-8-4)

http://www.elections.il.gov/Downloads/ElectionInformation/PDF/registervote.pdf [link]

10 ILCS 5/4-10 10 ILCS 5/6-37 10 ILCS 5/5-9 [link]

Does the address on the ID have to match the address at which the voter is registered?

Yes. However, if a voter is required to show two forms of ID, only one must show the voter's current address.

Source (confirmed on: 2014-8-4)

http://www.elections.il.gov/Downloads/VotingInformation/PDF/Illinois_Voter_Information.pdf [link]

http://www.elections.il.gov/InfoForVoters.aspx [link]

10 ILCS 5/1A-16 [link]

If a voter has no ID, are there alternatives such as an oath or witness?

The voter may cast a provisional ballot. Alternatively, for voters who are challenged, they can present an affidavit signed by another registered voter in the precinct who affirms that the challenged voter lives in the precinct.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/18A-5(a) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/17-10 (general and special election challenges) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/18-5 (challenges in certain municipalities) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/7-45 (primary election challenges) [link]

Do elections without federal offices on the ballot (such as off-year gubernatorial elections) have different ID requirements?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/6-37 (same-day registration voters in certain municipalities) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/4-10 (same-day registration voters in counties with populations less than 500,000) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/5-9 (same-day registration voters in counties with populations of 500,000 or more) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/18-5 (challenges in certain municipalities) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/1A-16(a) (certain first-time voters, generally) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/17-10 (general and special election challenges) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/7-45 (primary election challenges) [link]

Challenges to Voters at the Polling Place

Who can challenge a voter at the polling place?

A person can be challenged by an election judge, a poll watcher, or any legal voter.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/18A-218.10(a) [link]

What are the allowed reasons on which a voter can be challenged at the polling place?

A voter can be challenged on any ground that would make them ineligible to vote.

Additionally, if the voter's signature on the poll book certificate does not appear to match the voter's voter registration signature, the Election Judges must challenge the voter.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/18A-218.10(a) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/5-29 (signature) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/6-66 (signature) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/17-23 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/4-22 (signature) [link]

Is there a requirement for the challenger to provide cause or evidence?

No, the challenger needs only to state the cause of the challenge.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/17-23 [link]

How does a voter defend their eligibility to vote if they are challenged?

A challenged voter must affirm in writing that they are eligible to vote and show either (1) an affidavit of a registered voter in the precinct affirming that the challenged voter lives in the precinct, or (2) two forms of ID that show the voter's current address. One form of identification may be a piece of mail addressed to the person at their current residence address and postmarked no earlier than 30 days before Election Day.

The Election Judges can sustain a challenge (agree with the challenger) by a majority vote. If the challenge is sustained, the voter may vote a provisional ballot. If a majority of the judges overrule the challenge, the voter can continue to vote as if no challenge had been made.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/18A-218.10(a) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/18-5 (challenges in certain municipalities) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/17-10 (general and special election challenges) [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/7-45 (primary election challenges) [link]

What are the restrictions on polling place challenges?

Challenges are allowed at the polls on Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2014-8-4)

10 ILCS 5/4-22 [link]

10 ILCS 5/5-29 [link]

http://www.elections.il.gov/Downloads/ElectionInformation/PDF/pollguide.pdf [link]

10 ILCS 5/17-23 [link]

State and Local Election Officials

The State Election Authority

Who/what is the state election authority?

State Board of Elections

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/1A-1 [link]

Current official

Charles W. Scholz (Chairman), Ernest L. Gowen (Vice Chairman), Betty J. Coffrin, Casandra B. Watson

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

About the State Board of Elections [link]

E-mail

webmaster@elections.il.gov

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

Illinois State Board of Elections Contact Information [link]

Phone

Springfield Office: 217-782-4141

Chicago Office: 312-814-6440

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

Illinois State Board of Elections Contact Information [link]

Address

Springfield Office: 2329 S. MacArthur Blvd.
Springfield, IL 62704

Chicago Office: 100 W. Randolph, Suite 14-100 Chicago, IL 60601

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

Illinois State Board of Elections Contact Information [link]

Local Election Authorities

What local election official(s) are in charge of major state-level elections (such as the even-year November general elections)?

County Clerk or Boards of Elections. Each jurisdiction will have a County Clerk or Board of Election Commissioners, which is the election authority for that jurisdiction. Certain municipalities have a Board of Election Commissioners, which is the election authority in that municipality. In all other Illinois municipalities, a County Clerk serves as the election authority. For example, if you live in Chicago, your election authority is the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners. If you live anywhere else in Cook County, your election authority is the Cook County Clerk.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/4-4 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/6A-4 [link]

What is the county-level election official?

County Clerk or Boards of Election Commissioners.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/4-4 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/6A-4 [link]

What is the municipal-level election official?

County Clerk or Boards of Elections. Each jurisdiction will have a County Clerk or Board of Election Commissioners, which is the election authority for that jurisdiction. Certain municipalities have a Board of Election Commissioners, which is the election authority in that municipality. In all other Illinois municipalities, a County Clerk serves as the election authority. For example, if you live in Chicago, your election authority is the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners. If you live anywhere else in Cook County, your election authority is the Cook County Clerk.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/4-4 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/6A-4 [link]

Contact information for local election authorities

Click here.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

Election Authorities [link]

The Voter File

Voter File Basics

National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) Disclosure Law

Section 8 of the federal NVRA requires that each State maintain for at least 2 years and make available for public inspection and, where available, photocopying at a reasonable cost, all records concerning the implementation of programs and activities conducted for the purpose of ensuring the accuracy and currency of official lists of eligible voters, except to the extent that such records contain information about a person declining to register to vote or information about the identity of a voter registration agency through which a particular voter might have chosen to register.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

52 U.S.C. § 20507 [link]

Acquiring a Voter File

Under state procedure, who may acquire a voter file?

Only state or local political committee registered with the state may obtain a copy of the voter file. Other members of the public may view the vote file on a computer screen at the Springfield office of the State Board of Elections during normal business hours other than during the 27 days before an election, but the person viewing the list may not print, duplicate, transmit, or alter the list.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/6-35 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/5-7 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/4-8 [link]

Who is the state-level contact for acquiring a voter file?

Contact the Division of Voter Registration Services by phoneat 217-782-4141.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

Illinois State Board of Elections Website: Computerized Registration Data [link]

How much does the state charge for the file?

500

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

Illinois State Board of Elections Website: Computerized Registration Data [link]

What format is the file available in?

Comma-delimited text file or Microsoft Access file. The voter file is provided on a CD-ROM or DVD.

Source (confirmed on: 1900-01-00)

Illinois State Board of Elections Website: Voter File Formats [link]

Use of the Voter File

Does the state have restrictions on commercial use of the voter file?

Yes, the voter file cannot be used for purposes of commercial solicitation or other business purposes.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/6-35 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/5-7 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/4-8 [link]

Does the state have restrictions on non-commercial use of the voter file?

Yes, the voter file can be used only for bona fide political purposes.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-04-18)

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/6-35 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/5-7 [link]

10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/4-8 [link]