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AARP AARP States Illinois Voters

How to Vote in Illinois’ 2024 Elections

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Important dates and election information

Key dates

  • Primary: Tuesday, March 19 
  • General election: Tuesday, Nov. 5

Voting at a glance

  • Mail voting: Any registered voter in Illinois may cast a vote-by-mail ballot without a reason.

  • Early voting: Early voting begins Thursday, Feb. 8, and runs through Monday, March 18. Check with your local elections authority for early voting sites and hours.

Voting in Illinois

What to know about recent changes

A 2023 law may change how you vote in 2024:

  • Teens ages 16 and 17 will automatically be preregistered to vote when they receive their driver’s license, unless they opt out.
  • Jurisdictions with more than 500,000 people are required to have at least two vote centers, and one must offer curbside voting. Previously, it was just one.

Voter registration

Register to vote online, by mail or in person:

  • By mail: Download, print and fill out a registration form. Mail your completed form to your local election authority or the State Board of Elections Voter Registration Department (2329 S. MacArthur Blvd., Springfield, IL 62704). Include a copy of your current photo identification or a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document with your name and address.
  • In person: Applications are available at local election authorities, county clerk offices, military recruitment offices, city and village offices, and some public schools and libraries. Contact your local election authority to find out where you can get an application. 

Mailed voter registration forms must be received by Tuesday, Feb. 20.

A Voter enters the fire station polling
A voter enters a polling location at a fire station in Magnolia.

Registering to vote on Election Day

In-person voter registration is available through early voting and on Election Day as part of the state’s grace period registration process. Find a list of locations on the state board of elections website.

You will need to bring two forms of identification to register and vote on the same day, and at least one needs to show your current address. Acceptable forms of identification include your Illinois driver’s license, a U.S. passport, and a copy of a current utility bill or bank statement.

Voting in the primary and party affiliation

Voters do not have to declare party affiliation to participate in primary elections, but you can only vote on one party’s ballot in the primary.

Ways to vote

Requesting a vote-by-mail ballot

Mail ballot applications must be received by Thursday, March 14.

  • Online: Go to the state board of elections’ online tool, select your jurisdiction and follow the prompts to apply for a vote-by-mail ballot.

Returning your vote-by-mail ballot

Completed vote-by-mail ballots must be postmarked by Election Day (Tuesday, March 19) and received no later than two weeks following Election Day. You can also place your completed mail ballot in a secure drop box, if available. Contact your local election authority for more information. 

Your local election authority may offer online ballot tracking or require you to call or email the office to check the status of your ballot.

Voting in person before Election Day

Each election authority determines the locations and hours for early voting. Use the state board of elections’ online tool or call your local election authority to find early voting locations.

Voting at the polls on Election Day

Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Find your polling place online.

Voter ID requirements on Election Day

If you are already registered to vote, your signature is considered your ID and is all you need to vote at a polling station on Election Day. If you need to register to vote at a polling location on Election Day, you will need to bring two forms of identification, and one must include your current address.

Voting with a disability

Information about each jurisdiction’s polling place accessibility will be available closer to the election day.

Voters who need assistance filling in their ballot can receive help from either an election official or someone they choose, as long as that person is not an officer or agent of their employer or union.

Voters who have a print disability may participate in Accessible Vote By Mail. After applying for a ballot, they can receive one that can be completed with the assistive technology on their computer. That ballot then can be printed and returned.

More information about candidates

Key races:

  • U.S. President
  • U.S. House: 17 seats
  • State House: 118 seats
  • State Senate: 20 seats
  • State Supreme Court: one seat

Contact your local election authority for a sample ballot.

Editor’s note: This guide was updated on Jan. 11, 2024, with new information about voting in the 2024 presidential primary.

Elissa Chudwin covers federal and state policy and writes the podcast Today’s Tips from AARP. She previously worked as a digital producer for The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa, California, and as an editor for Advocate magazines in Dallas.

Also of Interest:

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