How to register to vote in Illinois

Illinois offers online voter registration. You can register by mail to vote in Illinois by printing a voter registration form, filling it out, and mailing it to your local election office. You can also register to vote in person if you prefer.

Who can vote

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

Online voter registration

  • Illinois offers online voter registration.
  • You should know: you need an Illinois 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.
  • You can register online to vote until Sunday, October 18, 2020.

By-mail voter registration

Use the Illinois voter registration form

You can also register to vote using the Illinois voter registration form. Be sure to read the instructions carefully and fill it out completely. Send the completed form to your local election official. To register by mail, the form must be postmarked by Tuesday, October 6, 2020.

Use the National Voter Registration Form

  1. Print and fill out the National Voter Registration Form.
  2. Box 6 – ID Number: Your Illinois driver’s license number or Secretary of State ID card 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Box 8 – Race or Ethnic Group: Leave blank. This information is not required.
  5. Review the “Who can vote?” section above and check that you’re eligible.
  6. Sign the form.
  7. Send the completed form to your local election official. To register by mail, the form must be postmarked by Tuesday, October 6, 2020.
  8. A signature is required. If signature is missing from registration form, you will be notified that your registration is incomplete.
  9. 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.

Election Day registration

Illinois does offer registration on Election Day.

In-person voter registration

  • You can also register to vote in person. Contact your local election office for information on when and where to register to vote. The deadline to register to vote in person is Tuesday, November 3, 2020. After the regular voter registration deadline of Tuesday, October 6, 2020, you can register and vote in person during a grace period, which begins the day after the deadline and runs through Election day. During this grace period, you can register and vote at your local election office, a permanent polling place, at early voting sites, at some polling places on election day, and at any other location specifically designated for grace-period voting by your election authority. Contact your local election office for more information on grace period locations and hours.
  • You can also register to vote and cast a ballot in person on Election Day.
  • Learn more by visiting the State Board of Elections for Illinois or contacting your local election official.

Get step-by-step help

TurboVote can help you start the absentee/mail-in ballot request process, send you election reminders, and more. If you’d like more help planning how to vote, we can walk you through the process!

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). To do so:

  1. 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.
  2. Send the application to your election official.
  3. It is never too early to submit an FPCA! Please do so as soon as possible. You can look up recommended mailing dates by country and region.
  4. Please fill out and send back your ballot as soon as you receive it. Following are recommended return dates to make sure your ballot arrives at your election office on time:
    • 35 days before election – On a ship at sea: September 28, 2020
    • 30 days before election – Outside of the US: October 2, 2020
    • 11 days before the election – Stateside: October 23, 2020
  5. 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 office.

If after submitting your FPCA, your ballot does not arrive, contact your election official first. Then:

  • You can still vote using the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). Print, sign, and mail your FWAB to your local election office.
  • 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 vote@fvap.gov

Check your voter registration status

You can look up your voter registration record and verify that your information is correct using Illinois’s voter registration lookup tool.

Dates and deadlines

  • Election day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
  • The deadline to register online to vote is Sunday, October 18, 2020.
  • The deadline for registering by mail to vote is (postmarked by) Tuesday, October 6, 2020.
  • The deadline to register in person to vote is Tuesday, November 3, 2020. After the regular voter registration deadline of Tuesday, October 6, 2020, you can register and vote in person during a grace period, which begins the day after the deadline and runs through Election day. During this grace period, you can register and vote at your local election office, a permanent polling place, at early voting sites, at some polling places on election day, and at any other location specifically designated for grace-period voting by your election authority. Contact your local election office for more information on grace period locations and hours.
  • The deadline to request a ballot by mail is (received by) Thursday, October 29, 2020.
  • The early voting period runs from Thursday, September 24, 2020 to Monday, November 2, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.
  • You can also register and vote on Election Day.

Election contact information for Illinois

Address:
State Board of Elections
2329 S. MacArthur Blvd
Springfield, IL 62704

Phone Number:
217-782-4141