How to register to vote in Illinois

This guide contains information about the 2018 midterm election held on November 6. It may be out-of-date.
 
Illinois offers online voter registration. You can register to vote by mail 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
  • not be in jail for a felony conviction
  • not claim the right to vote anywhere else

Online voter registration

  • Illinois offers online voter registration.
  • You should know: you need an Illinois ID to use Illinois's online voter registration system. If you don't have an Illinois-issued ID, you can still register to vote by mail.
  • You can register online until Sunday, October 21.

By-mail voter registration

Use the National Voter Registration Form

  1. Print and fill out the National Voter Registration Form.
  2. Box 6 - ID Number: Your driver's license 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.
  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 9.
  8. A signature is required. If signature is missing from registration form, you will be notified that your registration is incomplete.

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 9.

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 6. After the regular voter registration deadline of Tuesday, October 9, 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 fill out your voter registration form, send you election reminders, and more. If you'd like more help registering to vote, TurboVote can walk you through the process.

Military and overseas voters

Active-duty military, their families, and voters living outside the US 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. When your ballot arrives, read it carefully and follow the instructions to complete it and return it.
  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.

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 6.
  • The deadline to register online is Sunday, October 21.
  • The deadline for registering to vote by mail is Tuesday, October 9.
  • The deadline to register to vote in person is Tuesday, November 6. After the regular voter registration deadline of Tuesday, October 9, 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 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