2008 General Election: 11/4/08
Polling Place Hours: 6 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Voter Registration Information
Click here for an Illinois Voter Registration Guide created by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and its pro bono law firm partners.
October 7, 2008. Registration is open year-round; however, persons may not register to vote during the 27-day period just prior to an election. Illinois also has a grace period for late registrants or for voters to update their information. This "Grace Period" Registration extends registration from the normal close of registration up through the 14th day before the election (October 8, 2008, to October 21, 2008). Once registered, this voter may cast a ballot during this "Grace Period" at the election authority's office or at a location specifically designated for this purpose by the election authority, or by mail, at the discretion of the election authority.
Identification Required for Registration
If a voter registers in person, they must bring two forms of identification, including at least one demonstrating the current residence address. Acceptable forms of ID include but are not limited to: driver's license, the voter's social security card, public aid identification card, utility bill, employee or student identification card, credit card, or a civic, union or professional association membership card.
A person who registers to vote by mail on an Illinois state application must provide two forms of identification with one showing his/her current name and address.
If you register by mail on an internet form or a federal registration and do not have a driver's license or social security number, and the register form is submitted by mail, and you have never registered to vote in the jurisdiction you are now registering in, then 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.
Generally no identification is required to vote at the polls. However, if a voter registered to vote by mail and did not provide the required identification with the mail-in registration application, then he/she must submit one of the following at the polling place:
a current and valid photo identification;
Furthermore, if a voter votes during the early voting period then he/she must provide either an Illinois driver's license, non-driver identification card issued by the Illinois Secretary of State, or another government-issued identification document containing the applicant's photograph.
Voters seeking to vote absentee must assert one of the following reasons:
They expect to be absent from their counties of residence on Election Day;
They will serve as election judges in a precinct other than the one in which they live;
They are physically unable to get to the polls;
They are observing a religious holiday or religious principles prevent them from going to the polls;
They cannot get to the polls due to their duties working for one of the various government offices that conduct elections;
They have jury duty; they are students who are away from their homes due to school;
They are prisoners awaiting trial; they are government employees who used to live in the jurisdiction but had to move due to their employment.
Rules and Deadlines:
For the November 4, 2008 General Election, the first day to apply for an absentee ballot application either by mail or in person is September 25, 2008.
The last day to apply for an absentee ballot by mail is October 30, 2008.
The deadline to submit an absentee ballot application in person is November 3, 2008.
Illinois allows voters to vote early without providing any reason. Early voting can occur starting the twenty- second day before the election up to and including the fifth day before the election. October 14 through October 30, 2008.
Election authorities across the state will announce the locations of early voting centers. In almost all cases, the early voting centers will be different from the voters' regular polling place. Contact your County Elections Official
Information For People who have Moved or Changed Addresses
Any time a voter moves - even within the same precinct, city or town - s/he must have his/her registration transferred to his/her new address. Whenever a voter moves to another precinct within the same election jurisdiction or to another election jurisdiction in the State, such voter may transfer his or her registration by presenting his or her copy to the election authority or a deputy registrar. If such voter is not in possession of or has lost his or her copy, he or she may effect a transfer of registration by executing an Affidavit of Cancellation of Previous Registration.
A voter who moves within the same precinct 27 days or less before the election can vote by signing an affidavit.
A voter who moves within 30 days of the election outside of his/her precinct or city, but still within Illinois, and does not transfer his/her registration can vote a full ballot in her/his old polling place after showing proof of residence and completing an affidavit confirming s/he is a citizen, 18 years or older, residing in the State and is a duly qualified and registered voter; the address from which s/he moved; and the address to which s/he moved.
A voter who moves more than 30 days before the election within the same county (or within the same city if the voter lives in the City of Aurora, Bloomington, Chicago, East St. Louis, Galesburg, Peoria, or Rockford), and did not transfer his/her registration, can vote at his/her previous polling place only after completing an address correction form.
Information for People with Felony Convictions
Illinois residents are not eligible to vote if they have been convicted of any crime in Illinois, another state, or any federal court, and are serving a sentence of confinement in any penal institution. Confinement includes persons granted a furlough or admitted to a work release program but does not include situations in which a person is convicted and imprisoned but released on parole.