IMPORTANT NOTICE: All General Election information presented here, including dates and deadlines, is accurate as of November 2020. The US General Election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020 has now passed. You can still find information on important dates here, including when ballots must be received by your state.
The information on this page applies to the November 3, 2020 General Election. Voting for that election has ended in all states.
To register in Illinois you must:
- be a citizen of the United States
- be a resident of Illinois and of your election precinct at least 30 days before the next election
- be at least 18 years old on or before the next election
- cannot be serving a sentence of confinement in any penal institution as a result of conviction of any crime
- not claim the right to vote anywhere else
- *find more information on voting rights restoration here
- Illinois offers online voter registration.
- You should know: you need an Illinois driver's license or ID and a Social Security number to use Illinois's online voter registration system. If you don't have an Illinois-issued ID, you can still register by mail to vote.
Use the National Voter Registration Form
- Print and fill out the National Voter Registration Form.
- Box 6 - ID Number: Your Illinois driver's license number or Secretary of State ID card number is required to register to vote. If you do not have a driver's license, at least the last four digits of your Social Security number are required. If you have neither, please write "NONE" on the form. A unique identifier will be assigned to you by the State.
For people who do not have either of those items, and have not registered in Illinois before, a mail in registration form should be accompanied by a copy of other identifying information: you must send, with this application, either (i) a copy of a current and valid photo identification, or (ii) a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter. If you do not provide the information required above, then you will be required to provide election officials with either (i) or (ii) described above the first time you vote at a voting place or by absentee ballot.
- Box 7 - Choice of Party: Illinois does NOT require that you register with a party to participate in partisan primary elections. Illinois allows unaffiliated voters to publicly choose the party ballot they wish to vote on primary election day.
- Box 8 - Race or Ethnic Group: Leave blank. This information is not required.
- Review the "Who can vote?" section above and check that you're eligible.
- Sign the form.
- Send the completed form to your local election authority
- A signature is required. If signature is missing from registration form, you will be notified that your registration is incomplete.
- If you are registering to vote for the first time in your jurisdiction and are mailing this registration application, Federal law requires you to show proof of identification the first time you vote. Proof of identification includes:
A current and valid photo identification or
A current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or government document that shows your name and address.
More information here.
Illinois does offer registration on Election Day.
If you’d like more help planning how to register, TurboVote
can walk you through the process! They can also help you start the absentee/mail-in ballot request process, send you election reminders, and more.
Military and overseas voters
Active-duty military, their families, and overseas citizens can register to vote and request their absentee ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). The FPCA process is done by mail, but your state may offer other options to request and return ballots. Please contact your election official
for more information about delivery and return methods, including email, fax, and state online portals. To follow the FPCA process:
If after submitting your FPCA, your ballot does not arrive, contact your election official first. Then:
- Fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), or download a copy. Your election official may have questions, so please provide an email address or phone number where they can reach you.
- Send the application to your election official.
- It is never too early to submit an FPCA! Please do so as soon as possible.
- Please fill out and send back your ballot as soon as you receive it.
- States begin mailing absentee ballots at least 45 days before Election Day. If you haven't received your ballot by 30 days before Election Day, contact your local election authority.
- You can still vote using the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). Print, sign, and mail your FWAB to your local election authority.
- If you mail a FWAB and then receive your regular absentee ballot, you should complete and mail your absentee ballot also. Election officials will ensure that only one ballot is counted.
The Federal Voting Assistance Program – FVAP.gov
offers additional information on military and overseas voting in Illinois. You can also call 1-800-438-VOTE
or email firstname.lastname@example.org