What You Can Do Now to Make Sure Your Vote Will Count in November

With Labor Day behind us, it’s time to focus in earnest on the November 8th Election.

First item on your to-do list? Make sure you’re registered to vote at your current address.

Second item on your to-do list? Make sure to vote!

The best way to make sure to vote? Request a vote-by-mail-ballot. Then, whether or not you can get to a polling place once in-person voting begins, you can make sure your vote will count.

Here are answers to some questions you may have:

How do I request a vote-by-mail ballot?

Go online to your County Clerk’s website. Through the Lake County Clerk’s website and the Cook County Clerk’s website [https://mailvoting.cookcountyclerkil.gov/], you can request your vote-by-mail ballot by simply following the prompts. It will take less than five minutes.

If you live in McHenry County, you will find the form you need online at https://www.mchenrycountyil.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/108324/637956528765030000. But after you fill out the form, you’ll have to print it out and sign it before you can submit it to request your ballot.

When will I receive my vote-by-mail ballot?

Starting on September 29, 2022, County Clerks will mail ballots to all registered voters who requested one. After that date, ballots will be mailed as requests are received.

How do I send in my completed vote-by-mail ballot?

You can return your vote-by-mail ballot by U.S. Mail or take it to your County Clerk’s office in person, as soon as you receive it. A mailed ballot takes a regular first-class stamp, but if you forget to put a stamp on the envelope, the post office is legally required to deliver it.

Starting on October 24, 2022, you’ll have the option of depositing your vote-by-mail ballot in a secure Drop Box. Every Early Voting site in Lake and Cook Counties, and many in McHenry County, will have a Drop Box that you can access without waiting in the line for in-person voting.

What’s the deadline for sending in my vote-by-mail ballot?

Ballots must be returned to your County Clerk in person or via Drop Box no later than Election Day, November 8, 2022, by 7 p.m., or via U.S. Mail postmarked no later than 7 p.m. that day. If mailed by 7 p.m. on Election Day, a ballot will be accepted as long as it is received within 14 days after Election Day.

What if I have questions about how to fill out and return my ballot?

Your vote-by-mail ballot should come to you with clear, illustrated instructions. The single most important step? Sign the Certification Envelope in which you place your completed ballot the same way you sign your name when you go to vote in person.

If you find that the instructions for completing and returning your mail-in ballot are unclear, simply call the Democratic Voter Assistance Hotline at 847-432-VOTE (8683), and we’ll walk you through the process.

What if I change my mind and want to vote in person?

Bring your ballot and the certification envelope that came with it to the polling place once in-person voting begins, hand them to an Election Judge, and say you want a regular ballot to vote then and there. If you misplaced your vote-by-mail ballot, tell that to the Election Judge, and they still will be able to give you a ballot to vote that day.

Still have questions? Call the Democratic Voter Assistance Hotline at 847-432-VOTE (8683).

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