Illinois | Voting Guide

Registration Deadlines and Election Dates

Voter Registration Deadline: 28 days before Election Day for registration by mail and 16 days before Election Day for online registration.

Note, a grace period registration is available in person at specific locations after the registration deadline and at some polling places on Election Day. Contact your local county clerk or check online for locations.


General Election Registration Deadline: October 6 by mail or October 18 online but grace period registration available in person at specific locations through Election Day.

General Election: November 3

Official Election Websites
Register at School or Home

Students have a choice about where to register to vote.


Students attending college may register at their campus address or choose to remain registered or register at their permanent or home address.


You may only be registered and vote in one location.

What Type of ID Do I Need to Register?
  • The Illinois voter registration form asks for your Illinois driver’s license or ID number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Be sure to provide one of these numbers if you have it.

  • If you are registering to vote for the first time, are applying by mail, and do not have an ID number or Social Security number, you must submit a copy of a current and valid photo ID, or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and current address.

What Type of ID Do I Need to Vote?

You do not need any ID to vote early or on Election Day in Illinois. The only exception is for first-time mail-in registrants who failed to provide a driver’s license number, state ID number, or the last four digits of their Social Security number, or other accepted form of identification at the time of registration. 

Where Do I Vote?

Make a plan. Look up your voting site and hours at:

How Can I Vote?


Deadline for absentee ballot applications to be received by local election authority by mail: October 29

Deadline for absentee ballot applications to be requested in person: November 2

By Mail

Early In-person

Election Day

  • Voting sites will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day. If you are in line by the closing time, then you have a right to cast a ballot.

  • If you requested an absentee ballot you can still vote in person if you sign an affidavit stating you either never received your absentee ballot or that the election authority did not receive your ballot.

Common Questions/Concerns

Registering to Vote Does Not Affect Your:

Federal Financial Aid

Where you register to vote will not affect federal financial aid such as Pell Grants, Perkins or Stafford loans, or your dependency status for FAFSA.

Status as a Dependent on Your Parents’ Taxes

Being registered to vote at a different address from your parents does not prevent them from claiming you as a dependent on their taxes.

Tuition Status

Being deemed out-of-state for tuition purposes does not prevent you from choosing to register to vote in your campus community.


Will registering to vote in Illinois affect my driver’s license or car registration?

Only Illinois residents may participate in Illinois elections. As a resident of Illinois, you may be required to obtain an Illinois driver’s license or update your car registration. For more information, contact the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles.

Fair Elections Center and Campus Vote Project intend the information contained herein to be used only as a general guide. This document should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a licensed Illinois legal professional.


Last updated October 2020