Q: Who will be eligible to vote in the March 20 Primary Election?
All eligible voters in Chicago, including those who need to: use Election Day registration to register for the first time, file a change of address, or file a name change. To register you must: - be a U.S. citizen, and
- be born on or before Nov. 6, 2000, and
- live in your precinct at least 30 days before the election, and
- not claim the right to vote elsewhere; and
- not be in prison/jail serving time for a conviction.
Ex-convicts who have completed their sentences and who meet all other requirements listed above are
eligible to register and vote in Illinois.
Click here for information on Early Voting & Registration Feb. 8 through March 19.
Search here to check your registration status or find your Election Day polling place.
If you are NOT registered or if you moved since you last registered, do not include your last name.
Q: I moved recently. Do I vote in my new precinct or my old precinct?
If you moved to your current address on or before Feb. 18
(at least 30 days before election day), vote at the precinct polling place for your new/current
address. You may update your registration and vote at your new precinct polling place with two forms of ID, at least one of which shows your current address. A list of acceptable forms of ID will be available at every polling place.
If you moved within Chicago after Feb. 18
(less than 30 days before election day), vote at the precinct polling place for your old
Q: What offices will be on the ballots on March 20?
A combination of federal, state, county and judicial offices will be on the ballot.
Click here for the list of the offices to be on the ballots
Q: Will there be write-in candidates?
A: Yes. To vote for a write-in candidate on the touch screen, select “Write-In” and a keyboard will appear for you to enter the write-in candidate’s name. On a paper ballot, you may write-in a candidate if there is a write-in space for that office, and then connect the head and tail of the arrow next to the write-in space. Do not write-in candidates whose names already appear on the ballot.
Q: Will there be Vote By Mail and Early Voting ahead of the March 20 Primary?A: Yes.
There will be In-Person Early Voting & Registration from Feb. 8 through March 19 at sites to be announced by mid-January 2018.
Also, any voter may Vote By Mail by applying online or with a mail-in form that is received by 5 pm on March 15. The Board recommends requesting to Vote By Mail by early March to make sure that you have enough time to receive your ballot and return it on or before Election Day.
More about In-Person Early Voting & Registration
More about Vote By Mail
Q: When do I have to show ID to vote?
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: Do I have to declare a political party in order to vote in the March 20 Primary?
Yes. Under the law in Illinois, voters in a Primary Election only vote on one ballot that lists the candidates for that one party. Voters are free to stick with or switch parties from election to election, and selections in the Primary do not affect how a person may vote in any future elections. Please note, if you select a 'non-partisan' ballot, that ballot will contain no candidates, no offices and only whatever local referenda questions based on where you live.
Q: If I make a mistake while voting, can I correct it?
A: If you have not cast your ballot yet and you notice a mistake in your selection on the touch screen, go back and touch that choice again and then make the selection that you meant to make. If you make a mistake on a paper ballot, you must ask the judge to spoil that ballot and get a new paper ballot.
Q: Similar to Early Voting, can a voter go on Election Day to any polling place?
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, and if you are not yet registered in that name or at that address, enter only your address, not your last name
Q: Will my precinct polling place be the same as it was in past elections?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 into another precinct, you have to go to the precinct and polling place for your
new address. At the polling place for your new address, you may update your registration address with
any two forms of ID, at least one of which includes your new address. Find your new polling place
by entering only your new address here.
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. 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?
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?
If the judges cannot locate a voter registration record for a person in that precinct, the judges may:
- Perform a "citywide search" in the Electronic Poll Book to determine if the voter is in a different precinct. If so, the judges will tell you your correct precinct polling place and address; or,
- Try to verify that the address is in the precinct by looking at the precinct map, precinct outline, poll list or by calling the registration hotline.
Casting a Provisional Ballot in the wrong precinct may result in all or some of the selections on that ballot NOT being counted. That is why voters should go to the correct polling place when directed.
Reasons for voting a Provisional Ballot include:
a) No registration record found in the precinct;
b) Voter is challenged and the judges uphold the challenge;
c) Voter is required to provide ID but does not have acceptable ID;
d) Voter is listed as having cast a ballot in early voting or through vote by mail, but voter believes that record is in error;
e) Voter is casting a ballot during a court-ordered extension of hours at a polling place.
Provisional ballots are separated from others cast on Election Day.
After Election Day, Board employees evaluate provisional ballot applications to determine whether the ballot can be released into the count. Also, each provisional voter has 7 calendar days after Election Day to submit documents to the Election Board that will show that voter's eligibility to vote in that precinct (photo ID, utility bills, bank statements, etc.)
Q: Do employers have to give employees time off from work to vote?
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: 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
(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.