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AARP AARP States Illinois Voters

How to Register, Vote and Track Your Ballot in Illinois

En español | Illinois allows every registered voter in the state to vote by mail without a reason.

Statewide elections in 2024 includes races for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, state Legislature and state Supreme Court. The primary will be Tuesday, March 19, 2024, and the general election will be Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2024.

Essential info:

  • Upcoming elections: Information about upcoming elections is available on the Illinois State Board of Elections website.
  • Mail voting: Any registered voter in Illinois may cast a vote-by-mail ballot without a reason. 
  • Early in-person voting: Check with your local elections authority to determine when and where you can vote early.
  • Voting at the polls: Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. You'll need two forms of ID if you register to vote and cast a ballot on Election Day.
A Voter enters the fire station polling
A voter enters a polling location at a fire station in Magnolia.

Have there been recent changes to voting in Illinois?

Redistricting in 2021 changed certain boundaries of U.S. congressional and state legislative districts.

How do I register to vote?

  • By mail: Download a voter registration form from the state board of elections website. Print it, complete it and mail it to your local election authority, which you can find using the search tool on the state board of elections website.
  • In person: Applications are available at some public schools and libraries, military recruitment offices, local election authorities and county clerk offices. Contact your local election authority to find where you can get an application. In-person voter registration is available up to and including Election Day as part of the state’s grace period registration process. Locations are available on the state board of elections website.

Does my party affiliation matter when I vote?

Voters do not have to declare party affiliation to participate in primary elections or while registering to vote. But you can only vote on one party’s ballot in the primary.

How can I get a vote-by-mail ballot application?

  • Online: Use the state board of elections' online tool to apply for a vote-by-mail ballot.

Completed vote-by-mail ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received no later than two weeks following Election Day. You can also place your completed mail ballot in a secure drop box or take it to a vote center in your local jurisdiction. Or hand deliver your mail ballot to your polling place on Election Day. Contact your local election authority for more information.

Can I track my vote-by-mail ballot?

Your local election authority may offer online ballot tracking or require voters to call or email the office to check the status of your ballot. Read the instructions sent with your vote-by-mail ballot for details about how your ballot is tracked. A list of state election authorities and contact information is available on the Illinois State Board of Elections website. Call the Chicago office at 312-814-6440 or the Springfield office at 217-782-4141 for more information.

Can I vote in person before Election Day?

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

What do I need to know about voting at the polls on Election Day? 

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

Do I need identification to vote?

Only if you do same-day registration – registering and voting on Election Day. In that case, you’ll need two forms of ID, and at least one needs to show your current address. Acceptable IDs include your Illinois driver’s license, a state ID card or your Social Security card. Other acceptable IDs include a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check or other government document that shows your name and address.

Your signature is considered your ID and is all you need to vote at a polling station on Election Day.

Editor’s note: This guide was updated on July 26, 2023. The guide was first published on Aug. 20, 2020.

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