Make Your Vote Count – Starting Today!

(Updated. Originally posted July 8, 2020)

Voting by mail in Illinois has never been easier—which is great, since your vote has never been more important! So we’ve got some answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

How do I arrange to vote by mail, also known as VBM?

The first step for voting by mail (links available in article) is to request a ballot by submitting an “application.”

You can do that online or by returning a paper application. To request a ballot online, get started by going to your County Clerk’s website. If you live in Lake County, click here.  If you live in Cook County, click here.

If you haven’t applied online and are a registered voter who voted in 2018, 2019, or the 2020 primary, or you registered to vote after the 2020 primary, your County Clerk should have already mailed you a vote by mail application at the address on your voter registration. You can fill in that application and return it to your County Clerk’s office by fax, email, or U.S. Mail.

If you didn’t submit an application requesting a ballot online or receive one in the mail, you can go online now, or call Tenth Dems at our Voter Assistance Hotline, 847-432-VOTE (8683).

What is the deadline for submitting an application to request a VBM ballot?

You can submit the application any time up until October 29, 2020. Obviously, the earlier you request your ballot, the more time you’ll have to make sure everything is in order.

When will I receive my VBM ballot?

Starting on September 24, 2020, County Clerks will mail VBM ballots to all registered voters who requested one by submitting an application. If you wait to request your ballot until after October 1, 2020, your County Clerk must mail the ballot to you within two business days of receiving your application.

What if I get a VBM ballot and then decide I want to vote in person?

Just bring your VBM ballot and certification envelope that came with it to your polling place once in-person voting begins, return them to an election judge, and request a regular ballot to vote then and there. Easy! But having that VBM ballot in hand before the polls are open for in-person voting ensures that if you’d rather not leave home, you can still vote.

If I do decide I want to vote by mail, what’s the deadline for sending in my ballot?

Vote by mail ballots must be returned or postmarked no later than Election Day, November 3, 2020. A ballot postmarked by Election Day will be valid as long as it is received within 14 days after Election Day. A mailed ballot takes a regular first-class stamp. If you live in Cook County, your ballot will come with a postage-paid return envelope.

County Clerks also plan to place secure ballot drop boxes at locations TBD.

What if I don’t understand how to fill out and return my VBM ballot?

Your VBM ballot will come to you with clear instructions, including illustrations. And closer to September 24, Tenth Dems will post clear instructions, with illustrations, as well.

More questions? Call our Voter Assistance Hotline at 847-432-VOTE (8683).

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