Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=99447
Story Retrieval Date: 9/2/2014 6:42:59 PM CST

Top Stories
Features
VOTERNEW

 Photo by Medill Reports

Emily Robinson collects new voter registration forms at a registration drive in Wicker Park Saturday.


Everything you need to know to vote

by Samantha Abernethy
Oct 01, 2008


The deadline to register to vote is rapidly approaching. A record number of new voters is expected to participate this year. Check here to make sure you are prepared for Election Day on November 4.

Who Needs to Register

• If you have never voted before. If you will be 18 by Election Day, you are eligible to register.

• You need to register if you have moved since you last registered, or if you have changed your name.

• If you live in Chicago, you can check your registration status at http://chicagoelections.com. (If you live in suburban CookCounty, Lake, Kane, DuPage, McHenry or Will counties, you can find links to those election sites on the chicagoelections home page.)

Registration Deadlines
• You can register in person at the Chicago Board of Election office at 69 W. Washington St., any public library or any Secretary of State drivers-license facility.

• Or you can pick up a registration form at any public library or get one online at http://chicagoelections.com and mail it in. Mail-in registration must be postmarked by Tuesday, Oct. 7.

• If you register in person, there are two deadlines. You can register by Oct. 7 to cast your ballot on Election Day. If you miss the Oct. 7 deadline, you can still register in person from Oct. 8 until Oct. 21 at the election board office at 69 W. Washington St., but you also must cast your ballot at the same time.

• If you have completed and mailed a voter registration form, but have not received your voter registration card in the mail by two weeks before the election, call the Chicago Board of Election at 312-269-7900, if you live in Chicago. Suburban residents should contact their county’s board of elections.

Early Voting
• Any registered voter has the option of voting early, starting Monday, Oct. 13 and ending Thursday, Oct. 30.
• In Chicago, voters can go to one of 51 early voting locations, one in each ward plus the Board of Election office, Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. All locations are listed on the Chicago Elections Board Web site.

• The Board of Election office is also open for early voting 9 a.m. to noon Sundays.
• Suburban voters can find voting locations on the countyWeb sites.

• Voters must present a photo ID when voting early.

Absentee Ballot Deadlines
• In order to vote by absentee ballot in Illinois, you must have a valid reason. This includes college students, military service members, election officials, voters with disabilities, voters observing a religious holiday, and voters who are sequestered with a jury.
• Request an absentee ballot by contacting the CountyClerk’s office at 312-603-0906.
• Oct. 30 is the last day that military and overseas voters may apply for an absentee ballot.
• You can also vote absentee in-person, Oct. 31 to Nov. 3 at the CountyClerk’s office and at the clerk’s six suburban regional courthouses.

How to Vote on Election Day
• If you live in Chicago, find your Election Day polling place by entering your address at http://www.chicagoelections.com/voterinfo.php. (Suburban residents should check their countyWeb site.)

• You must vote at your assigned polling place.
• To find more in-depth information on candidates and policies, visit http://www.ilvote.gov.
• For instructions on using the voting machines, visit http://www.voterinfonet.com/sub/vote.asp.