Nov. 3, 2020 General Election
Starting Sept. 18, 2020, the Chicago Election Board will provide military/overseas voters with emailed and mailed ballots and, on this web page, a link to an online ballot access and marking system. The system is designed to serve those who are eligible to participate in the Nov. 3 General Election. With this system, any eligible military/overseas voter with a valid Federal Post Card Application filed with the Chicago Election Board is able to log in and access and mark a ballot. After completing this process, the voter then may print out the ballot and the supporting documents -- and mail the ballot and supporting documents to the Chicago Election Board.
Please note: The marked ballot must be printed out and mailed in with a signed and dated certification. The ballot CANNOT be submitted online.
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Notice to Voters in the Military and Citizens Temporarily Residing Outside the United States Who Use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)
To Register and Vote by Mail
Under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) and the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act, each State must permit absent uniformed service voters and overseas civilian voters to use temporary registration procedures and to Vote By Mail in all federal elections (for US Representative, US Senate or President). This notice is to inform military and overseas voters of the process to apply for, mark and return Vote By Mail ballots.
No later than Sept. 18, 2020, the Vote By Mail Department will send the Special Write-in Vote-By-Mail Blank Ballot ("Special Vote-By-Mail Ballot") to all eligible FPCA applicants. Special Vote-By-Mail Ballots will be sent by email and mail. In addition to the Special Vote-By-Mail Ballots, the Board also will mail an official ballot to you when the printed ballots become available. You may cast your Vote-By-Mail ballot by using either the Special Vote-By-Mail Ballot or the official ballot or by using the online system to mark, print out and return that ballot. Or, you may mark and return both ballot forms; however, in the event multiple ballots are returned from the same voter, the Board will count only one of such ballots, as explained below.
Sample ballots will be available at
this section of the web site starting late September.
Deadlines for Military/Overseas Voters
For unregistered civilians temporarily residing outside the United States to receive a ballot, the deadline for the FPCA registration/application to be received by our office is Oct. 5.
For registered civilians temporarily residing outside the United States and Military persons (including spouse and voting age dependents) to receive a full ballot, the deadline for the FPCA registration/application to be received by our office is Oct. 26.
For civilians permanently residing outside the United States, the deadline for the
FPCA registration/application to be received by our office is Oct. 5.
If you requested your ballot but haven’t received it, contact your election office by email at
[email protected] or by fax to 312-269-0626 or 312-263-3649 to ask about the status of your ballot request.
If there isn’t enough time to receive and send back your ballot before the election, use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) at
After you send in your ballot, you can check if it was received by the Chicago Election Board at www.chicagoelections.gov/info by entering your name and address.
Registering To Vote / Applying for
All applicants may submit the completed and signed Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to the Board:
- by email at
[email protected] or
- by fax to 312-269-0626 or 312-263-3649
If you do not have access to a fax machine or the ability to scan documents, you may mail your completed and signed form to:
CHICAGO BOARD OF ELECTIONS
69 W. WASHINGTON ST STE 600
PO BOX 1122
CHICAGO IL 60690-1122
Returning Your Voted Ballot and Certification
1. Place your voted Special Vote-By-Mail Ballot inside a small envelope and mark the envelope "BALLOT ENVELOPE."
2. Place that Ballot Envelope and the completed Certification inside a larger envelope. Use this label for the larger mailing return envelope.
3. Be sure to sign the Certification on the larger mailing return envelope. Use the official signature that you used on your Federal Post Card Application.
4. Options to return your Ballot Return Envelope:
- by mail, to the address above;
- by using a licensed courier like FedEx, UPS or DHL, to the address above;
- in person at the Chicago Election Board;
- in person, delivered by the spouse, parent, child, brother or sister of the voter;
- submitted at a U.S. consulate or a U.S. embassy for return to the United States.
(You must include postage to return your ballot and supporting documents. You may avoid postage only if the ballots are returned from a location inside the United States or through a U.S. consulate or a U.S. embassy, and so long as you adhere the
label for the larger mailing return envelope to the face of your mailing envelope. NOTE: If you use a consulate or embassy, be sure to have the consulate or embassy staff date/time stamp your ballot as having been received.)
If in the United States, try to mail your ballot by Oct. 27.
If outside the United States, try to mail your ballot by Oct. 13.
By law, Nov. 3 is the absolute deadline to mail your ballot. But sending it sooner provides more time for it to arrive.
By law, ballots will be accepted if they are mailed and postmarked or have a certification on or before Nov. 3 (Election Day) AND as long as they are received no later than 5 p.m. on Nov. 17.
If multiple ballots are received from one military/overseas voter
If only one ballot (whether the Special Vote-By-Mail Ballot or the official ballot) is received by the Board within the time allowed, the Board will count that ballot. If the Board receives both the Special Vote-By-Mail Ballot and the official ballot before the Vote-By-Mail ballot counting commences, the Special Vote-By-Mail Ballot will be voided and the official ballot will be counted. If a second ballot is received after the Board has counted the first ballot, the second ballot will be voided, regardless of whether it is the Special Vote-By-Mail Ballot or the official ballot.
The central counting of Vote-By-Mail ballots for the election will begin on Election Day and will conclude at 5 p.m. on the 14th day after Election Day.