Voters across Illinois can now request a mail-in ballot for the general election in November.
All requests submitted by mail for a ballot must be received by Oct. 29, election officials say, and all requests made in person must be made by Nov. 2. Election Day this year falls on Nov. 3.
All registered voters are eligible to vote by mail - a method many officials, including Gov. J.B. Pritzker, have encouraged as the coronavirus pandemic continues. No reason or excuse is needed in order to obtain a mail-in ballot.
Voters in Chicago who apply online by Sept. 24 will be among the first to receive ballots when the first round of ballots are mailed that day through Oct. 5, the city's election officials say. Mailed ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received within 14 days after the election.
The Chicago Board of Elections noted that in the first 24 hours after the application period opened, more than 5,000 voters applied for a mail-in ballot. That number far outpaced the 184 people who applied to vote by mail on the first available day for the March primary in Chicago, during which a total of more than 118,000 people applied to vote by mail, setting a new record.
Authorities say anyone in Chicago who applies online to vote by mail will receive email confirmation of their application, when their ballot is being mailed, when their ballot has been received and when it has been approved for counting, as well as if there are issues with the ballot itself.
Anyone who is not registered to vote can do so online up to 16 days before the election, or in person at several locations like government offices and public libraries up to 27 days before the election. After that timeframe passes, voters will have to register in person using grace period registration and be prepared to cast their ballots at the same time.
More information on registering to vote, and the application to request a mail-in ballot, can be found here.