Voting Guide

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

  • 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 for locations.



  • Primary Election Registration Deadline: February 18 by mail or March 1 online

  • Primary Election: March 17 

  • General Election Registration Deadline: October 6 by mail or October 18 online

  • General Election: November 3

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.

  • 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.

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. 

Make a plan. Look up your voting site and hours at: https://ova.elections.il.gov/RegistrationLookup.aspx

By Mail

  • Any registered Illinois voter can vote absentee without an excuse.

  • An absentee ballot application can be submitted in person or by mail. You must submit your absentee ballot application by mail no later than 5 days before the election or, if requesting it in person, 1 day before Election Day. However, voters located outside the United States must submit their requests no later than 30 days before Election Day.

  • Absentee ballots must either be returned in person by the close of the polls on Election Day, or be postmarked on or before Election Day and received no later than 14 days after Election Day.

  • Additional information about voting by mail is available at: https://www.elections.il.gov/Downloads/ElectionOperations/PDF/VoteByMail.pdf.

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 must be allowed to vote.

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 is used only as a general guide. This document should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a licensed North Carolina legal professional.
Last updated March 2019