How to Sign Up to Vote – and Where

Illinois residents have just a few days left to register to vote

Whether you follow every political update or snooze through the debates, you have a say in who leads our country. But you can't say anything if you aren't registered to vote.

The deadline for Illinois residents to register for the November presidential election is Tuesday, October 7. This has already been a historic campaign season, so don't miss the opportunity to be a part of the momentous election.

There are at least a dozen events this weekend where Illinois residents can sign up to vote. Of course, many of them are Obama-related. If you're already registered, many of the events will appreciate a helpful volunteer. Chicagoans are even invited to travel to neighboring states Michigan and Indiana (and Colorado?) to assist in registering voters there.

Residents of Chicago's 6th Ward may notice volunteers registering voters at various CTA 'L' stops this afternoon from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (If you'd like to help, call 773-846-7006.) The Global Mixx Music Retreat, a collection of network events geared toward the urban music and marketing industry, will feature a voter registration drive along with panels and workshops. And volunteers have been doing their part to make sure that even Cook County's homeless are registered to vote. (In 1992, Illinois became the first state to allow homeless people to register using the address of a place they visit regularly.)

But you don't need a special event to register to vote. If you have lived in Illinois for 30 days and will turn 18 on or before November 4, you can register at any of the following locations: county clerk's office, board of elections commissioner's office, public libraries, military recruitment offices, driver's license facilities, Department of Health Care and Family Services, and Department of Employment Security. You'll need two forms of identification, with one showing your current address.

No matter what your persuasion or beliefs, you have the right to have your voice heard.

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