General Voter Registration Information
What are the voter registration requirements?
- Must be a U.S. Citizen
- Must be at least 18 years of age by election day
- Must have been a resident of the precinct at least 30 days prior to election day.
When may I register to vote?
Registration is open year round except:
- During the 27-day period just prior to an election
- During the 2 days after such election (1 day after in Chicago)
Where can I register to vote?
- County Clerk's office
- Board of Election's office
- City and village offices
- Township offices
- Precinct Committeemen
- Some schools
- Some public libraries
- Some labor groups
- Some civic groups
- Some corporations
- Military recruitment offices
When applying for services at the following:
- Driver's License Facilities
- Department of Public Aid offices
- Department of Public Health offices
- Department of Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities offices
- Department of Rehabilitation Services offices
What forms of identification are needed when I register to vote?
Two forms of identification with one showing your current residence address. If you register by mail, you must vote in person the first time you vote.
Do I ever have to re-register?
No, not unless you:
- Move to a different address
- Change your name
Will I automatically be registered to vote when I renew my driver's license?
No. But you will be given the opportunity to register to vote. If you are already registered to vote, there is no need to register again unless you change your name or move.
So can I register to vote by mailing an application to my election office?
Yes. Under federal law, citizens may apply to register to vote by mailing in an application. The applications are available at some public and private facilities where you live. When you register by mail your mail-in form must be postmarked prior to the close of registration. Contact your local election office to learn more about registering by mail.
If I mail in an application to vote, can I vote by absentee ballot?
Unless disabled or in the military, persons who register by mail must vote in person at the polling place or by in-person absentee voting the first time they vote.
Can I register at a public assistance office?
Yes. Any person who requests public assistance will be given an opportunity to register to vote. Again, if you are already registered, there will be no need to register again unless you changed your name or move
When can I consider myself officially registered to vote?
As soon as you receive a voter ID card in the mail, you can consider yourself registered. If you do not receive an ID card within 3 weeks after you registered, call your elections office.
What if I change my name after being registered?
If you changed your name more than 27 days before the election and did not re-register, you cannot vote.
A person who changed his or her name within 27 days of the election, and still lives in the same precinct, may vote after completing an affidavit. A woman who continues to use her maiden name after marriage may vote without having to complete an affidavit if registered under her maiden name.
What if I move, can I still vote?
It depends on when you move. 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 county or municipality under a board of election commissioners, and did not transfer your registration, you can vote on a ballot 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 can 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 the board of election commissioners and did not transfer your registration, you cannot vote.