Election Day in Chicago is here, with voters across the city heading to the polls. Here's a look at some essential resources to help you prepare for the big day —
WHEN IS CHICAGO'S ELECTION DAY?
Chicagoans will head to the polls on Feb. 26 to vote for a new mayor and for their ward's City Council seat. Election law dictates that in races where no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote outright, voters will then have to cast their ballots once more in a runoff election.
With the largest field of mayoral hopefuls in Chicago history, and some aldermanic races boasting as many as nine candidates, the city is all-but-certain to have a runoff election, which would be held on Apr. 2.
WHO ARE THE CANDIDATES FOR CHICAGO MAYOR?
Mayor Rahm Emanuel sent shockwaves through the city when he announced in September that he would not seek a third term in office. Now, 14 people are running to be Chicago's next mayor, the largest number of candidates in city history.
Know the Mayoral Candidates
Get to know the candidates in Chicago's crowded mayoral race: click the photos below to read more about each candidate.
Source: Chicago Board of Elections, NBC Chicago reporting
Credit: Kelly Zegers/NBC
WHERE DO THEY STAND ON CERTAIN ISSUES?
To help cut through the campaign noise, we asked all 14 candidates for mayor seven questions to help inform voters on who they are and where they stand on certain issues the city faces.
Three candidates - Garry McCarthy, Neal Sales-Griffin and John Kozlar - did not respond to multiple requests for their responses, while some others gave written answers but did not submit videos to explain why they are uniquely qualified for the role.
You can find the rest of the candidates' answers below, in the order they appear on the ballot. Click the candidate's name to find their responses.
If you're still undecided, it can be helpful to known who's backing whom. Click here for a breakdown of the 14 mayoral candidates' endorsements.
WHAT OTHER OFFICES ARE ON THE BALLOT?
There are 50 wards in Chicago, each represented on City Council by one alderman. All of those aldermanic seats are up for a four-year term, with 45 of the 50 races contested - meaning there is more than one candidate on the ballot.
Click here for a full list of candidates running in each of the 50 wards.
Two other offices are also on ballots across all of Chicago: city clerk and city treasurer, each with three candidates vying for the roles.
WHAT ARE THE RACES TO WATCH?
With Emanuel stepping aside, and a number of young progressive challengers vying for aldermanic seats, City Council could soon look quite different. Here's a look at 12 big races happening across the city —
12 Races to Watch in Chicago’s Municipal Elections
SEE WHO'S ON YOUR BALLOT
Enter your address below to find out your ward, and all the candidates running to be your alderman.
Source: Chicago Board of Elections
Credit: Sam Hart/NBC
WHAT QUESTIONS WILL BE ON THE BALLOT?
Nearly every election includes some sort of referendum, and this year is no different. In addition to voting for your chosen candidates, you can weigh in on issues specific to your ward and even down to your precinct. Click here to find the questions that will be asked of various Chicago voters.
WHERE TO VOTE EARLY
If you want to avoid the rush and cast your ballot before Election Day, you have plenty of options. Click here for the full list of early voting sites across Chicago, as well as early voting hours for every day through Feb. 25. You can vote at any of them across the city, even if you don't live in that ward.
HOW TO FIND YOUR POLLING PLACE
If you prefer to cast your ballot on Election Day, you have just one option: your designated polling place. If you don't know where that is, enter your address below to find it —
You can also click here to search for your polling place (and make sure you're registered) through the Chicago Board of Elections' website.
WHAT TIME POLLS ARE OPEN
Polls open at 6 a.m. 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.
WHAT YOU SHOULD BRING
While a government-issued photo ID is not required to vote under Illinois law, it can be helpful to bring one should any questions about registration, address, signature, or more arise during the voting process.
It's important to remember: you legally do not need any form of identification to cast your vote, unless you are registering for the first time or changing your registration.
NOT REGISTERED TO VOTE?
If you're not registered in Illinois but still want to vote, it's not too late! You can take advantage of grace period registration through Election Day. You simply have to bring two forms of identification, one with your current address, to your polling place and be prepared to vote at the same time.
SHOULD YOU TAKE A BALLOT SELFIE?
NO. In Illinois, ballot selfies are prohibited by state law. It's a felony to mark your ballot so another person can see how you voted, carrying a potential prison sentence of one to three years.
State election officials have said it's "unlikely" anyone would be prosecuted for a ballot selfie, but you should play it safe and take a picture of your "I Voted" sticker or pose next to the polling place sign instead.
HOW TO GET LIVE RESULTS
Live Election Day coverage will air on NBC 5 throughout the evening and at 10 p.m. You can also track up-to-the-minute race results live in the NBC Chicago app - where you can turn on notifications to get alerts on winners of the biggest races - and right here on NBCChicago.com.