Your local election authority is in charge of registration. An election authority is a county clerk's office or board of election commissioners. To find out how to contact your local election authority, visit the Illinois State Board of Elections.
Requirements for voter registration
There are 3 requirements you must meet in order to register to vote:
- You must be a US citizen;
- You must be at least 18 years old by Election Day; and
- You must have been a resident of the precinct at least 30 days before Election Day.
Note: You may register to vote in the primary if you are 17 years old and will be 18 years old by Election Day.
1. Register in person
If you are registering in person, you must present two forms of identification, at least one of which must show your current residential address.
You can register to vote at many government and political party offices, including:
- Offices of your local election authority
- City, village, and township offices
- Precinct committee offices
- Some schools or public libraries
- Military recruitment offices
You may also register when applying for services at certain state agencies, including:
- Secretary of State driver's license facilities
- Department of Human Services offices
- Department of Healthcare and Family Services offices
- Department of Employment Services offices
Some individuals who are members or employees of labor groups, civic groups, and corporations may become deputy registrars who are authorized to register people to vote.
2. Register by Mail
You may also register to vote by mail by completing and submitting the Illinois Voter Registration Application, which you can download at the Illinois State Board of Elections website or get from your local election authority. The form should be returned to your election authority by the registration deadline.
If you register to vote by mail, you must vote in person the first time and show identification, unless, before you vote, you provide the election authority with sufficient proof of identity that has been verified by the election authority. If you have any questions about your registration, you should contact your local election authority.
3. Register online
llinois now enables voters to register online through the Illinois State Board of Elections website. Those who use this portal and have a driver’s licenses, can link their voter registration to the signature and identification information in the Secretary of State’s driver’s license database. Other applicants may need to print out the registration form and submit it to the local election authority with proper identification to complete their registration.
4. Register during the grace period
Generally, the deadline to register in order to vote in an election is 27 days prior to the date of the election. However, Illinois law allows for grace period registration after this deadline up to and including the day of the election. Such voters must register at their local election authority office and must cast their ballots upon registering.
5. Make sure you are registered
You should receive a voter identification card in the mail. If you do not receive an identification card within three weeks after you registered, you should contact your election authority.Illinois residents can also check their voter registration status at their election authority or check online at Illinois State Board of Elections.
Individuals who are not citizens or who are otherwise not eligible to vote could be registered by mistake. This may happen, for instance, at driver’s license facilities. Such mistaken registrations could have severe consequences, particularly for non-citizens who may be accused of falsely claiming US citizenship.
Anyone who is mistakenly registered should not vote and should report the mistake to the local election authority, which should be able to undo the registration.