2022 illinois primary

By Mail, Early, In Person: Here's How to Vote in Illinois

NBC 5 News

There are three ways to vote in Illinois' primary election, set for June 28.

1: You can request a mail-in ballot and return it by either sending it through the U.S. Postal Service or by hand delivering it to your local election authority at an approved drop-off location.

2: You can vote early in person at an early voting location in your jurisdiction, open now through Election Day on June 28.

3: On Election Day, you can vote in person at your precinct's specific polling place or, if your local election authority allows, at another voting location within your jurisdiction that will be open on June 28.

Here's what you need to know about each of the three options:

How to vote by mail in Illinois

Anyone registered to vote in Illinois is eligible to vote by mail, no excuse needed.

Voters have until June 23 to request a mail ballot, though election officials advise you apply as early as possible to allow enough time for the ballot to arrive and be returned. To be counted, your mail ballot must be postmarked by Election Day and arrive within 14 days after.

You can find more information about voting by mail on the Illinois State Board of Elections website here or through your local election authority, which is where you can find an application to request a mail-in ballot.

If you requested to vote by mail and want to hand deliver your ballot, bypassing the U.S. Postal Service, you can do so in person at your election authority's office or designated drop box locations.

How to vote early in the Chicago area

If you want to avoid the rush and cast your ballot in person before Election Day, you have plenty of options. Here's the full list of early voting sites and their schedules across Chicago, suburban Cook County and 10 of the area's suburban counties:

All residents of any of the counties listed can vote at any of their county's early voting locations, with two exceptions: Some locations in Will County only serve residents of specific areas (as noted), and Chicago voters can only vote at the city's early voting locations - not in suburban Cook County. Otherwise, you can pick whichever early voting location in your jurisdiction is most convenient for you.

How to vote on Election Day

If you prefer to cast your ballot on Election Day, in most counties in Illinois you have just one option: your designated polling place. If you don't know where that is, you can find it by entering your address here on the State Board of Elections website.

If you are a resident of Chicago, suburban Cook County or DuPage County, you have a few more options on Election Day.

In Chicago, all early voting sites will remain open on Election Day for all voters in the city, as will two locations that are open to suburban Cook County residents: 69 W. Washington St. and the Union Station Founders Room at 225 S. Canal St.

And new this year, DuPage County has announced that it is the first county in Illinois to allow voters to cast a ballot at any of its 263 polling places on Election Day.

When are polls open on Election Day?

Polls open at 6 a.m. statewide, and will stay open through 7 p.m. But remember - if you are IN LINE when polls close, you can still vote! So if you're rushing to your polling place at the last minute, don't worry if you see a line - and don't let anyone try to dissuade you from casting your ballot. 

For a complete guide to voting in the Illinois Primary election click here.

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