Chicago Board of Elections Answers Common Vote By Mail Questions

Though Chicago voters have already surpassed the previous all-time record for requests to vote by mail in the November election, voters continue to ask questions about the process.

Due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, the Chicago Board of Elections encouraged voters to use vote by mail or early voting ahead of Election Day on Nov. 3.

According to their website, some of the most frequently asked questions to the Board of Elections are the following:

Will there be vote by mail ahead of Election Day?

After applying online or through the mail-in/fax/email form by Sept. 24, the Board of Elections said voters will receive their ballots by Oct. 4, and recommends requesting a vote by mail no later than Oct. 15. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. Oct. 29.

The Board of Elections website reminded voters that, new this year, individuals may return their vote by mail ballot return envelopes at secured drop boxes at any early voting location.

Will there be in-person early voting and registration services before and on Election Day?

There will be in-person voting and registration, according to the website, and starts 40 days before Election Day at the Loop Super Site at 191 N. Clark.

Closer to Election Day, 50 ward sites will start to open starting Oct. 14 through Nov. 3.

On Election Day, can a voter go to any precinct polling place?

A voter can only cast a vote at the polling place assigned to that voter's precinct on Election Day, according to the Board of Elections.

Precinct numbers and polling places can be found here.

When do I have to show identification to vote?

As long as the voter has registered, the signature matches the one on file and there are no questions about the registration, then no ID is required, the Board of Elections explained.

According to the website, a voter would need to show ID when registering to vote or updating the address on the registration in person while voting.

If a voter moves shortly before Election Day, should the voter use the new precinct or the old precinct?

If a voter moved prior to Oct. 5 from anywhere to a current Chicago address, the Board of Elections instructed to vote at the Chicago precinct polling place for the new, current address.

If voting at a new precinct due to a move, the website said the voter must provide at least two forms of ID, one with a current address.

If a voter moved on or after Oct. 5 from an old Chicago address to a new Chicago address, the Board of Elections said to vote at the precinct of the old address, then update the registration for the next election.

For the full list of frequently asked questions, click here.

More than 200,000 people applied online to vote by mail, the Chicago Board of Elections tweeted Wednesday, noting that an additional 30,000 applications submitted via mail had arrived in the past week alone.

That brings the total number of requests for a mail-in ballot to now 250,000 - more than double the previous record of 118,000 set in the March primary election, Chicago Board of Elections spokesman Jim Allen said.

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