Q: Who will be eligible to vote at the Nov. 3 General Election?
A: Everyone who is:
  - a U.S. citizen, and
  - born on or before Nov. 3, 2002, and
  - living in their precinct at least 30 days before the election, and
  - not claiming the right to vote elsewhere; and
  - not in prison/jail and currently serving time for a conviction.
NOTE: Ex-convicts who have completed their sentences and who meet all other requirements listed above are eligible to register and vote in Illinois. This includes ex-convicts who are no longer incarcerated and who have been released on parole or probation. Additionally, eligible voters who are in jail on criminal charges and who are awaiting trial (pre-trial detainees) have the right to vote.

   Registering to Vote & Filing an Address or Name Change

   Click here for information on Early Voting & Registering in person Oct. 14 through Nov. 3.

   Click here to check your registration status or find your Election Day polling place.

Due to Covid-19, all voters are encouraged to use Vote By Mail or Early Voting ahead of Election Day, Nov. 3.

Q: Will there be Vote By Mail ahead of Nov. 3?
A: Yes, any voter may Vote By Mail by applying online or by applying with the mail-in/fax/email form. Learn more and apply here. Those who apply by Sept. 24 will be among the first to receive their ballots after mailings start Sept. 24. The US Postal Service recommends applying to Vote By Mail by Oct. 19 to make sure you have enough time to receive and return the signed and sealed Ballot Return Envelope on or before Election Day Nov. 3. The absolute deadline to apply is 5 pm on Oct. 29, but applying that late gives you very little time to receive and return the Ballot Return Envelope by Election Day five days later.
New this year: Vote By Mail voters may return their Vote By Mail Ballot Return Envelopes at Secured Drop Boxes at all of the city's Early Voting locations. Click here to learn more.


Q: Will there be In-Person Early Voting & Registration services before and on Nov. 3?
A: Yes. There will be In-Person Early Voting & Registration. Early Voting will start as early as 40 days before Election Day (or as soon as the ballot is settled) at the Loop Super Site at 191 N. Clark. The Early Voting program then will grow to include 50 ward sites from Oct. 14 through Nov. 3. Learn more

Q: On Election Day, can a voter go to any precinct polling place?
A: No. On Election Day, a voter must vote only at the polling place assigned to that voter's precinct. Click here to find your precinct number and polling place. If you are not yet registered under your current name or your current address, enter only your current address.

Q: Will my Election Day precinct polling place be at the same location?
A: Whenever possible, the Board tries to keep polling places at the same locations. However, there may be some polling place owners who cannot or will not allow us to use that site again. Click here to find your precinct number and polling place and check again closer to Election Day.
Please note: IF YOU MOVED (1) to Chicago for the first time or (2) from one Chicago precinct to another Chicago precinct before Oct. 5, go to the precinct and polling place for you new address. At the polling place for your new address, you may vote after updating your registration address with any two forms of ID, so long as at least one ID shows your new address. Find your new polling place by entering only your new address here.

Q: When do I have to show ID to vote?
A: You do not need ID if you are already registered to vote AND your signature matches the one on file AND there are no questions about your registration.  However, there are times when you do need identification, such as registering to vote or updating the name or address on your registration in person when you go to vote. Learn more about IDs here.

Q: If I move shortly before Election Day, should I vote at my new precinct or my old precinct?
A:
The answer depends on when you moved and where you moved from.

If you moved before Oct. 5, 2020 from anywhere to your current Chicago address, vote at the Chicago precinct polling place for your new, current address. You may register for the first time or update your registration -- and then vote -- at your new precinct polling place on Election Day with two forms of ID, at least one of which shows your current address. Learn more about the IDs you may use.

If you moved on or after Oct. 5, 2020 from your old Chicago address to your current Chicago address, vote at the precinct polling place for your old address. Then, after Election Day, update your registration ahead of the next election.

Q: What offices will be on the ballots on Nov. 3?
A: Click here to see a list of offices on the ballots.

Q: Will there be write-in candidates?
A: Yes. Votes for write-in candidates will be counted if those candidates filed declarations of intent with the appropriate election authorities.

Q: Do I have to declare a political party in order to vote Nov. 3?
A: No. A standard ballot will be issued to each voter based on the voter's address and the federal, state and local voting districts where the voter lives.

Q: Will my choices in the March Primary carry forward to the Nov. 3 Election? Will how I voted in the March Primary affect how I may vote for Nov. 3?
A: No. The March Primary and the November General Election are separate events. Votes in the March Primary do not carry over to the November election. When you select a party ballot or a candidate in the March Primary, you are free to vote however you want in the November election.

Q: If I make a mistake while voting, can I correct it?
A: Yes.
- On the touchscreen in Early Voting or Election Day: If you have not cast your ballot yet and you notice a mistake on the touch screen, go back and touch that choice again and then make the selection that you want.
- On a paper ballot in your precinct: If you make a mistake on a paper ballot in your precinct on Election Day, you must ask the judge to spoil that ballot and get a new paper ballot.
- On a Vote By Mail ballot: If you make a mistake on a Vote By Mail ballot, simply cross out the mistake clearly, and then make the choice you meant to make with note such as "this one." This video shows how a voter may correct a mistake on a Vote By Mail ballot without having to get a new ballot.


Q: There are campaign signs on a public property. Will the Election Board remove them?
A: The Election Board has jurisdiction only over signage at polling places that are used on Election Day or during Early Voting, and even then, only in the polling place itself and the "campaign-free zone" that extends 100 feet from the entrance to the polling place or voting room. Campaign signs are permitted on polling-place properties so long as they are outside the "campaign-free zone."
During Early Voting, you may call 312-263-1394 with questions about signage at Early Voting sites.
On Election Day, you may call Election Central at 312-269-7870 with questions about campaign signs at polling places.
You must call 311 with any other questions about campaign signs on other public properties such as bridges, parks, intersections, etc.

Q: If I vote in Early Voting and change my mind, can I vote again on Election Day to cancel out my first ballot?
A: No. Once a voter casts a ballot, the voter cannot cast another ballot. Attempting to vote more than once in the same election is a felony.

Q: What is a Provisional Ballot? When are Provisional Ballots counted?
A: Provisional ballots are counted 14 days after an election. If you cast a provisional ballot, you may find out if it was counted after Nov. 19 by using this look-up tool.

An election judge will issue you a provisional ballot at your polling place if:
  - Your name does not appear on the list of eligible voters in that precinct and you lack ID to register or update your registration.
  - Your voting status has been challenged and a majority of the judges uphold that challenge.
  - You did not provide ID when registering by mail and still don't have ID on Election Day.
  - A court order extends the time for voting at your precinct and you vote after 7 p.m. during that extended voting time.
  - Your name appears on the list of voters who used Early Voting.
  - You admit to receiving a vote by mail ballot but did not bring the ballot to the precint polling place to surrender it before voting a new ballot.

By law, you must vote in your assigned precinct for all votes on your provisional ballot to count.

Provisional ballots are counted after Election Day. The election authority receives all provisional ballots and then determines the registration status for each provisional voter within two weeks after the election. If it is determined you are registered and eligible to vote, your votes will be counted. If you are eligible and voted in a neighboring precinct, votes for certain offices will be counted but other offices will not. If you are not registered or failed to present ID to register on Election Day, your vote may not be counted, but the information you supplied will serve as a voter registration application for the next election.

Q: Do employers have to give employees time off from work to vote?
A: Yes, employees are entitled to two hours off work, if:

a) The employee gives the employer notice, prior to election day (the Election Code does not specify what type of notice is required);

b) The employer may specify the hours during which the employee may be absent;

c) The employer must permit a 2-hour absence during hours if the employee's working time begins before 7:59 a.m. (within two hours of the open of polls) and the working time ends after 5:01 p.m. (within two hours of the close of polls).

No employer shall refuse an employee the privilege of time off from work nor subject the employee to a penalty, including a reduction in compensation due to such an absence from work.

Q: Can schools give students excused time off to vote?
A: There is a law that will take effect on June 1, 2020 for the November election that will let schools specify the two hours that students are allowed excused absences -- either during Early Voting or on Election Day.


Q: If I am suddenly hospitalized shortly before the election, how can I vote?
A: A
registered voter who is hospitalized not more than 14 days before an election may request a Vote By Mail ballot.
(1) This application must be completed by the voter, the voter's attending physician and the voter's representative (a relative or another registered voter from the same precinct).
(2) The completed application may be submitted in person at 69 W Washington, 8th Floor or by email to [email protected]
(3) The voter's representative will be responsible for picking up the ballot at 69 W. Washington, 8th Floor, delivering the ballot to the voter, and also returning the voted ballot to 69 W. Washington, 8th Floor.
(4) If the voter's application form was submitted by email, the ORIGINAL signed and notarized application form must be submitted with the returned ballot by 7 p.m. on Election Day.
By law, a Vote By Mail ballot cannot by submitted by email or fax.

Q: What are those numbers to the left of the candidates' names on the ballots?
A: The "punch" numbers are an historic feature that date to
the punch-card voting system used through the early 2000s. Candidates still use the punch numbers in campaign signage, mailings and other literature to help people remember them. The punch numbers also can help voters who may have limited reading skills. Punch numbers are expected to be assigned in mid-September 2020. Punch numbers do not carry over from the March Primary to the November election.