RSS Updates

Early Voting Begins in Cook, Lake and McHenry Counties

A major reason for early voting is to encourage greater participation in the election process. People who travel for business, work long hours, or are otherwise inconvenienced by the hours the polls are open on Election Day may find it easier to vote early.

COOK COUNTY: County-wide Early Voting will take place October 24 – November 7. To vote early, unlike on Election Day, Cook County voters can use any site countywide regardless of where they live. Early Voting locations and hours can be found here. Note that  some sites will open for voting on October 12.

LAKE COUNTY: Starting on September 29th, all registered Lake County voters are eligible to vote early at the Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan. Beginning October 24th, more early voting sites will be open across the county. To vote early, unlike on Election Day, Lake County voters can use any site countywide regardless of where they live. Click here to find your Early Voting location.

MCHENRY COUNTY: Early Voting begins on September 29, 2022 at the McHenry County Administration Building, 667 Ware Rd, Woodstock. Beginning October 24th, more early voting sites will be open across the county. To vote early, unlike on Election Day, McHenry County voters can use any site countywide regardless of where they live. Early Voting Dates, Times and Locations

News, Notes & Events: Early Voting Begins


News, Notes & Events


News, Notes & Events: Republican Lake County Clerk Turns Away Voters

October 5, 2022

In this Issue: ​Republican Lake County Clerk Turns Away Voters on First Day of Early Voting ● Vote by Mail in Lake County ● Lake County Democrats Shades of Blue Fundraiser ● Phone Bank to Defend Our Rights ● Poll Watcher Election Protection Team Training ● “Day of Action” Events Across Lake County ● Candidates Forum: John Wasik and Wendy Meister ● Volunteer Spotlight ● Upcoming Events


Republican Lake County Clerk Turns Away Voters on First Day of Early Voting

The first day of early voting saw a delay of almost four hours before ballots could be cast at the Early Voting site at Republican Lake County Clerk Robin O’Connor’s office in Waukegan. Although voting at County Clerks’ offices was supposed to begin across Illinois on Thursday morning, O’Connor wasn’t prepared for voters until around 1 pm.

The Clerk and her staff handed out Vote-By-Mail applications to voters who were turned away and or told to come back later.  Her Democratic opponent, Anthony Vega, pointed out that the Clerk had not adequately informed voters about the late opening, including not warning them about it on their website or social media.

“Instead of informing the public of the need to delay the opening of the Clerk’s Office early vote polling location, voters are left with no information about when they will be able to cast their ballots in the 2022 General Election,” Vega said in a news release. “Voting is a fundamental right in our democracy and it is clear Robin O’Connor does not take this responsibility seriously. In this coming election, voters will be faced with a simple choice: voting for Anthony Vega, who will protect our democracy, or voting for Robin O’Connor who is not up to the job and leaving our democracy up to chance. Lake County deserves better.”


Vote by Mail in Lake County

In-person early voting has begun in Lake County, but another convenient way to vote is by mail.

It is not too late to request a Vote-By-Mail ballot online by logging into The application may be submitted electronically or, if you prefer, you may print a personalized PDF form to submit by mail. Ballots are already being mailed as voters request them. Once you receive your ballot, you may return it by mail or by placing it in a Drop Box at any early voting site in Lake County.

Voters may now apply for Permanent Vote-By-Mail Status and automatically receive a ballot in all subsequent elections. You can also track the Lake County Clerk’s receipt of your application and voted ballot at


Lake County Democrats Shades of Blue Fundraiser

We are so excited that U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth will join us for our Lake County Democrats Shade of Blue Fundraiser on October 20, 2022, and we hope that you will too!

Our rights are on the ballot—bodily autonomy, freedom from gun violence, workers’ rights, and so much more. We hope that you will sign up to join us and our other special guests for this special evening by going to


Phone Bank to Defend our Rights

Judge Liz Rochford is running in one of the most important races on the ballot in Illinois—for a seat on the Illinois Supreme Court. Please join our phone bank to help determine the future of reproductive freedom and gun violence prevention.

Lake County Democrats is hosting a phone bank on Thursday, October 6th, at 6 pm on Zoom. The stakes could not be higher—every call we make protects reproductive freedom and brings us closer to ending gun violence. Can we count on your help to secure our rights? All experience levels welcome. Training will be available. Please RSVP to


Poll Watcher Election Protection Team Training

We Democrats believe that everyone eligible to vote should actually be allowed to vote. With Republicans openly working across the country to prevent certain people’s votes from counting, this year election protection is more important than ever.

That’s why Tenth Dems, Lake Dems, and the Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association are working together to organize and train an Election Protection team of over 125 volunteers – many of whom are lawyers – to monitor the polls across Lake County.

Tenth Dems is hosting a statewide training session on Monday evening, October 10th, from 7:30 to 9:00 pm on Zoom and is offering 1.5 hours of Continuing Legal Education Credit to attorneys. But you don’t have to be a lawyer to help ensure that everyone eligible is allowed to vote. To join the team or attend the training, register at


“Day of Action” Events Across Lake County

Democrats turn out in force for the Moraine Township Democrats Early Voting Day of Action. Among those pictured are Congressman Brad Schneider, and Lake County Board candidates Marah Altenburg and Paras Parekh.


Team Brad Day of Action with Judge Rochford, Joyce Mason, Anthony Vega, Carissa Casbon, and Moms Demand Action.


Lake County Treasurer Holly Kim takes stock of candidates’ yard signs that Lake Dems will provide to you free of charge. We have yard signs for all Democratic candidates running in Lake County. To request signs email


Candidates Forum

John Wasik
Candidate for Lake County Board, District 6

I’m running for re-election for the expanded 6th District, which covers Grayslake, Hainesville and parts of Round Lake and southern Lake Villa Township.

On the County Board, I’ve chaired the Legislative Committee. We’ve been successful in netting more than half a billion dollars in state highway and stormwater management aid, with more than $30 million going to projects in my district.

On the Public Works, Planning and Transportation Committee, I’ve successfully advocated for road modernization and congestion-reducing projects; a new $2.5 million water pumping system for Highland Lake and $1 million storm water project in Grayslake.

As Vice President of the Forest Preserve, I proposed and championed a carbon credits program that will pay us to plant trees. I also advocated for regenerative farming on preserve lands and expanding our great trail system. I also raised more than $2 million in private donations to build our first net-zero environmental education building.

As a founding member of the Energy & Environment Committee, I helped draft the county’s first Climate Action Plan, which will cut carbon emissions to zero by 2040.

I am also the author of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights and worked with Lake County Treasurer Holly Kim to better inform taxpayers on how to appeal their assessments. I will continue to fight for fair property taxation.

Overall, I am honored to work hard for safe, sustainable and prosperous communities. There is much to do, but working as a dedicated team, we will continue to deliver for our constituents.


Wendy Meister
Candidate for Lake County Board, District 3

I’m running to represent the 3rd district in Lake County. The district includes all or parts of Green Oaks, Gurnee, Lake Forest, Libertyville, Lincolnshire, Mettawa, Riverwoods, Vernon Hills and Waukegan. After living and working as a community organizer in Lake County for almost 20 years, I’m uniquely positioned to represent this diverse district.

For the past 20 years, the county has invested large sums in buildings, roads, and acquiring Forest Preserve land. We now need to turn our attention to addressing environmental and social problems. Efficiently solving these problems will require the Lake County Board to work closely with local government units and legislators in Springfield and Washington. Coordinating efforts with multiple levels of government requires the full attention of your County Board Member.

The Lake County Board oversees county operations and the Forest Preserve District. Governance of a $635 million budget is a responsibility.  I plan on treating this position as a full-time job


Volunteer Spotlight

Lindenhurst resident Angie Shorten is a terrific Lake Dems volunteer. Often seen out and about canvassing for our Democratic candidates, she can also be counted on to help with administrative tasks, including delivering yard signs as well as helping with planning our many fundraisers. Lake Villa Township Democrats is strong and growing thanks to Precinct Committeepersons like Angie (and their fabulous chair, Kasia Kondracki). In short she’s an amazing volunteer, one of many in Lake County for whom we are so grateful.


Upcoming Events

E​vents below are taken from the complete list of Upcoming Events at To submit your event for consideration, click here.

Reception for Dr. Michael Karner, Candidate for Re-Election as Lake County Regional Superintendent of Schools. 5-7pm, Gurnee. More.

Coalition to Reduce Recidivism Luncheon. 11:30am-1pm, Wadsworth. More.

Rights At Risk – Illinois Supreme Court Briefing. Noon, online via Zoom. Citizen Action/Illinois, JACPAC and the Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association present a briefing about what’s at stake with the Illinois Supreme Court elections and how you can get involved. More.

BG Pride National Coming Out Day Celebration. 6-10pm, Mundelein. More.

Community Blood Drive Hosted by Mary Edly-Allen and Versiti Blood Centers. 8am-1pm, Grayslake. More.

Tenth Dems and Lake Dems Cosponsor Lake County Day of Action. 10am-noon, Mundelein. Democratic nominee for Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias, along with Lake County Democrats and Democratic elected officials and candidates. RSVP here. More.

Lake County Board District 19 Candidate Marah Altenberg Day of Action. Shift 1: 11am, Shift 2: 3pm, Buffalo Grove. Click for more.

Dems Host Harvest Gathering in Antioch. 4-6pm, Antioch. A chance to meet Democratic candidates. More.

Reception for State Senate Candidate Allena Barbato (District 32). 2-4pm, Woodstock. More.

Indo-American Democratic Organization (IADO) Annual Banquet. 6pm, Skokie. Keynote speaker: Khizr Khan, Gold Star Father and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. More.

Final Fundraiser for Lake County Clerk Candidate Anthony Vega Hosted by Representative Brad Schneider. 5:30-7:30pm, Lake Forest. More.

Antioch and Grant Township Democrats October Meeting. 6:30-7:30pm, Lake Villa. More.

Tenth Dems, Lake Dems, and the Illinois Democratic Chairs’ Association Present “The Right to Vote” — Election Protection Zoom. Hear about voting rights in Illinois and help our Democratic candidates by making sure voters can exercise those rights. Our in-depth, practical training is open to Democrats. We offer 1.5 hours of FREE CLE (Continuing Legal Education) to attorneys. More.

Newport Township Democrats Postcard-Writing Meeting. 7-9pm, Wadsworth. Writing postcards for Brian Hayden, candidate for Lake County Board (District 1). More.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month – Latinos in Lake County. 8:30-11:30am, Grayslake. More.

Lake County Democrats Shades of Blue Fundraiser. We are so excited that U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth will be joining us and we hope that you will too! Our rights are on the ballot—bodily autonomy, freedom from gun violence, workers’ rights, and so much more. Along with our other special guests, we hope that you will sign up to join us for what will be an amazing evening by going to More.


How Do I Join Lake County Democrats?

Lake County Democrats is made up of people like you, people who are passionate about building better communities and a better world. We’re a grassroots political organization, working with Democrats in all parts of Lake County – from Antioch to Highland Park, Libertyville to Waukegan, Barrington to Zion. Become a member online now or send a check payable to Lake County Democrats to P.O. Box 671, Lake Zurich, IL 60047. Questions? Contact



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 [], 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 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).