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There are several manners in which voters can cast their ballots, whether it be on Election Day or before. Voters are reminder to make sure their voter registration is current – if you have moved or changed your name, you will need to update your registration 28 days prior to any election.
Voters are notified by the Cook County Clerk's office of their polling place address in a mailing prior to the election. Find your voter information, polling place and a sample ballot (when available) by clicking here>>>
Early Voting is another way to vote before Election Day. It must be done in person at a designated Early Voting site. Click here>>> for Early Voting locations (link is updated each for each election). You must bring with you one of the following:
1. a picture ID with your current address
2. your voter's registration card
3. a copy of your registration from the Clerk's Office
4. a utility bill with your address (only if your picture ID does not have the current address listed)
Voting by mail is a convenient way to cast your ballot if you are unable to get to your polling place on Election Day or to cast your ballot in-person during Early Voting at a designated Early Voting site. Any registered suburban Cook County voter may apply for a mail ballot. It is no longer necessary to provide a reason. This section also includes information on Overseas and Military Voting.
How to vote by mail
To obtain an application to vote by mail, registered suburban Cook County voters can:
- Download and print the mail ballot application (applications are also available in Spanish, Hindi and Chinese), or
- Call the Clerk's office at (312) 603-0946 to request that we mail you an application, or
- Pick one up at any of the Clerk's six office locations.
- The last day to apply for a mail ballot is five days before the election.
NOTE: Applications must be submitted by mail, certified courier or in person. Applications cannot be accepted by email or fax.
If the election is a primary election, you must indicate your party preference (Democratic, Republican, non-partisan or other) on your application.
Once we receive your application and verify your registration, we will send you a paper ballot at the address you designate on your application. After making your selections and completing the certification form on the back of the envelope and signing it, mail or deliver your ballot back to us. Please note: if the certification form (on the back of the return envelope) is not signed, your ballot will not be counted.
Mailed ballots must be postmarked by the day before Election Day and received in the County Clerk's office within 14 days after the election in order to be counted. Mailed ballots are processed and counted at our central office.
More information about Mail Voting:
- Eligibility - Learn who is eligible to vote by mail.
- Deadlines - Important dates to remember.
- Apply to Vote by Mail - Download a mail ballot application.
- Disabled Voters - Absentee voting program for voters who are disabled.
- Overseas and Military Voters - Learn about voting for overseas and military voters.
- Nursing Home/Hospital Voting - Voting for nursing home and hospitalized voters.
Grace period registration and voting extends the registration period by allowing voters to register to vote up to three days before an election. However, guidelines limit when and where grace period registrants can vote. More>>>
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