Voting in Illinois
Voter Registration In Illinois
Who Can Register In Illinois
To register to vote in Illinois, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Live in your election precinct for at least 30 days prior to Election Day
- Be at least 17 years old by the Primary Election and turn 18 by the General or Consolidated Election
- Not be serving a sentence of confinement in any penal institution as a result of a conviction
- Not claim the right to vote anywhere else
You must register by mail to vote at least 28 days before the election you wish to vote in; or online at least 16 days prior to the election you wish to vote in. Grace period registration is an extension of the regular registration deadline from the 17th day prior to an election through Election Day. Grace period registration is only available "in-person" at sites authorized by each election authority.
Illinois Election Day Registration
If you’re eligible to vote in Illinois but have not yet registered, you can register and vote during Grace Period registration, which begins on the 27th day before the election. You can register during the Grace Period at the office of the election authority or at a permanent polling place established by the election authority. You can also register at any early voting location beginning 15 days before the election, at some polling places on Election Day, or at another specially-designated location.
You can pre-register to vote in Illinois if you will turn 17 by the next primary election and 18 by the next general election.
Voting Rights Restoration
Illinois does remove voting rights for people with felony convictions. Illinois automatically restores the right to vote upon release from imprisonment. If you have previously lost your right to vote because of a felony conviction, you will need to re-register to vote once you have been released from prison.
If you have a past conviction, learn more about your eligibility to vote.
Voting In Illinois
Where To Vote In Illinois
Vote-by-mail & Absentee
All voters are eligible to vote absentee/by mail in Illinois; no excuse is needed.
Early Voting In Illinois
Illinois offers in-person early voting. No excuse is needed to vote early. Early voting begins on the 40th day before the election and ends on the day before the election.
Primary Elections In Illinois
Illinois has open primaries. In a primary election, you must select one political party ballot to vote or request a non-partisan ballot (public questions only) if available. You have the freedom to change your party choice in each primary election. 17-year-olds can vote in the primary election if they will be 18 by the corresponding general election.
Voter ID In Illinois
Voter ID Requirements
ID is not required to vote in Illinois. However, if you are registering to vote during Grace Period registration, you must provide two forms of ID. If you register by mail, your identity is sufficiently proven by submission of your driver's license number or State identification card number. If you do not have either of those, you must provide at the polls two forms of ID, one of which must show your address that you are registering from. Valid forms of ID include:
- A current and valid photo identification
- Utility bill
- Bank statement
- Government check
- Student ID accompanied by a copy of your contract, a lease for a residence, or mail addressed to you at your current residence address
- Other government document that shows your name and address
If you are required to show ID at the polls but do not bring it, you can vote with a provisional ballot and submit additional information to the election authority no later than the close of business on the Tuesday following the election. The election authority has 14 days following the election to determine voter eligibility, and thus if the ballot should be counted. The provisional voter may find out if their ballot was counted, or if it was not counted, the reason that it was not counted. If the ballot is not counted, the provisional voter affidavit will be used as a registration application and the voter will be sent a voter registration ID card.
Additional Illinois Resources
Your State Election Official
Illinois State Board of Elections Chair
Charles W. Scholz
Phone numbers: 217.782.4141 (Springfield office); 312.814.6440 (Chicago office)