Make Your Vote Count! Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. How do I arrange to vote by mail?

If you are a registered voter, you can request a ballot by submitting an “application.” You can do that wholly online or by returning a paper application. If you live in Lake County, go to LakeVoterPower.info. If you live in Cook County, go to https://mailvoting.cookcountyclerkil.gov/en/Application/ApplicantInformation.

  1. What if I’m not registered to vote or not sure I’m registered in Illinois?

To find out whether you’re registered to vote in Illinois, go to https://ova.elections.il.gov/RegistrationLookup.aspx. Or call the Democratic Voter Assistance Hotline, 847-432-VOTE (8683), and a volunteer will check for you.

If you’re not registered in Illinois, and you are a U.S. citizen, will turn 18 years of age by November 3, 2020, will have lived at your address for at least 30 days prior to November 3, and don’t claim the right to vote anywhere else, you may register to vote.

You can register in person with a Deputy Voter Registrar through October 6, 2020. You will need a valid Illinois Driver’s License or Illinois State ID.

Online registration is available through 11:59 pm on October 18, 2020, at https://ova.elections.il.gov/. You must provide a valid Illinois Driver’s License or Illinois State ID number, the last four digits of your Social Security number, the date the license or identification was issued, AND your birth date.

Starting October 19, 2020, you can register to vote at any Early Voting site in your county or, on Election Day, at the polling place assigned to your residential address; however, you must also vote at that time. This process is known as Grace Period Registration or Same Day Registration. You’ll need two pieces of identification, one of which shows your address. Acceptable ID includes a valid Illinois Driver’s License or Illinois State ID and a letter to you at your address from a utility, school, or other official sender. If you have questions about valid forms of id, you can call the Democratic Voter Assistance Hotline, 847-432-VOTE (8683).

  1. I’ve received multiple applications for ballots in the mail. Are they legitimate?

Several Democratic and other civic organizations are mailing ballots to registered voters. You need not worry about the legitimacy of those mailings as long as they call for returning the enclosed application form to your County Clerk’s office (check the address on the return envelope). If you have any questions about an application form you receive in the mail, you can apply online, which you can be sure is official, or call the Democratic Voter Assistance Hotline, 847-432-VOTE (8683) for help.

  1. What is the deadline for submitting an application to request a mail-in ballot?

You can submit the application to request a mail-in ballot any time up until October 29, 2020, but we strongly recommend you do so right away. The earlier you request your ballot, the earlier you can return it, and the more time you’ll have to make sure everything is in order.

  1. How can I make sure my application to request a mail-in ballot was received?

If you live in Lake County, go to LakeVoterPower.info, and after filling in your personal information, click the button, “Track My Mail Ballot.” If you live in Cook County, go to https://www.cookcountyclerk.com/service/your-voter-information, click the button, “What Is My Mail Ballot Status?” and fill in the requested information

  1. When can I expect to receive my mail-in ballot?

Starting on September 24, 2020, County Clerks will mail ballots to all registered voters who previously 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. You can use the links in Answer Number 5 to track your application and ballot.

  1. What if I get a mail-in ballot and then decide I want to vote in person?

Just bring your mail-in ballot and certification envelope that came with it (or any parts you can find) 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 ballot in hand before the polls are open for in-person voting ensures that if you decide you’d rather not leave home, or if anything else keeps you from the polls, you can still vote.

  1. How do I return my mail-in ballot, and what’s the deadline?

The simplest and safest way to return your mail-in ballot is to place it in a secure drop box. Mail-in ballots must be returned or postmarked no later than Election Day, November 3, 2020, but we encourage you to return yours as soon as possible.

In Lake County, beginning on September 24, 2020, and continuing through Election Day, November 3, 2020, you can return your mail-in ballot by placing it in any of four 24-hour, secure postage-free drop boxes that will be located outside the main entrances of certain branch court buildings. Go to https://www.lakecountyil.gov/DocumentCenter/View/36233/Drop-Box-Locations-all for the exact locations.

The Lake County Clerk also will provide drop boxes at 17 early voting locations throughout Lake County. You can return your mail-in ballot by placing it in any of these drop boxes beginning October 19, 2020, until November 1, 2020, from 8:30 am to 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday and from 9 am to 5 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

On Monday, November 2, 2020, five of these drop boxes will be available from 8:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. And on Election Day, November 3, 2020, drop boxes for return of mail-in ballots will be available at two Election Day voting sites from 6:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. For the exact locations of these drop boxes, go to https://www.lakecountyil.gov/DocumentCenter/View/36233/Drop-Box-Locations-all

Cook County also will have drop boxes at early voting sites, starting on October 19. These also will be accessible from 8:30 am to 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday and from 9 am to 5 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. A complete list of those locations is available at https://www.cookcountyclerk.com/sites/default/files/pdfs/SECURE%20DROPBOXES%20FOR%20COOK%20COUNTY%20MAIL%20BALLOTS.pdf

In addition, Cook County will make drop boxes available beginning October 9, 2020, in six locations—one in the Loop and five at Regional Courthouses in suburban Cook County. Go to https://www.cookcountyclerk.com/sites/default/files/pdfs/SECURE%20DROPBOXES%20FOR%20COOK%20COUNTY%20MAIL%20BALLOTS.pdf for a list of these locations.

A ballot placed in the U.S. mail and postmarked by Election Day will be valid as long as it is received within 14 days after Election Day. Lake County’s ballot takes a regular first-class stamp. If you live in Cook County, your ballot will come with a postage-paid return envelope.

If you choose, you can hand-deliver your mail-in ballot to your County Clerk’s office during normal business hours.

  1. 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, we will post our own illustrated instructions. If you still have questions, call the Democratic Voter Assistance Hotline, 847-432-VOTE (8683), and one of our volunteers will walk you through it.

  1. How can I find out whether my ballot has been received?

If you live in Lake County, go to LakeVoterPower.info, and after filling in your personal information, click the button, “Track My Mail Ballot.” If you live in Cook County, go to https://www.cookcountyclerk.com/service/your-voter-information, click the button, “What Is My Mail Ballot Status?” and fill in the requested information

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

The above information has been provided by Tenth Dems

Help more new voters before the 2020 primaries.

Spread the Vote and its Project ID initiative help citizens obtain the IDs they need in order to vote. They exceeded their original 2019 goal of 300 IDs early on. Now, thanks to Americans of Conscious Checklist subscribers who have already donated an amazing $15,000+ this year (you rock!), we’re getting closer to our amended goal of helping 600 new voters (every $40 donated provides an ID for one new voter).

Donate: To Spread the Vote here.

 

Sign Up Now To Become A Deputy Voter Registrar in Illinois

voter registration

North Shore Indivisible is committed to helping citizens exercise their right to vote and make their voice heard. If you seek to help others register to vote, you may be eligible to become a deputy registrar. However, you must act right now. Training classes are forming and you must register at least 48 hours before the training date.

Register for voter registrar training here

To become a deputy registrar you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be registered to vote in your county of residence
  • Complete a free training program in your county of residence

Training Schedule Spring 2018

LAKE COUNTY RESIDENTS ONLY

  • Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 6:00pm Lake County Central Permit Facility, 500 W. Winchester Rd., Libertyville
  • Thursday, February 8, 2018 at 10:00am 10th Floor – County Building A, 18 N. County St., Waukegan

COOK COUNTY RESIDENTS ONLY

  • Saturday, February 3, 2018 at 10:00am Glencoe Union Church, 263 Park Ave., Glencoe

Registration at least 48 hours before training is required

Register for voter registrar training here

Why I Became a Deputy Voter Registrar. You Should, Too.

Become a deputy voter registrar in Illinois

In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election it became evident that voter behavior represented the single most important factor in determining the outcome. Not just how many people voted mattered. After all, the majority did NOT vote for Trump. What mattered was who voted and where those who voted lived. Hair’s breaths of percentage points decided electoral votes for entire states. Every vote made a difference. Every person who was qualified to vote but did not vote made a difference as well.

It’s Imperfect But You Can Make the Difference

Yes, the Electoral College process needs a review. Yes, there is widespread gerrymandering of electoral jurisdictions. Yes, there are significant efforts to target and disenfranchise whole swaths of the population. Yes, these and other issues need to be fixed. Yet there is one thing that can be done by each person right now that does not require studies, commissions, hearings or rallies. We can make the effort to register to vote (and then vote).

Easy for Some. Not for Others

While Illinois encourages and provides relatively simple self-enfranchisement, for the truly intransigent non-voter the human touch may provide that extra incentive to become registered. That human touch is the deputy voter registrar. Illinois Election Code provides for deputy registrars who work with the County Clerk’s office to make voter registration to all qualified residents.

How To Become a Deputy Voter Registrar

To become a deputy voter registrar I attended a 1-hour fast-paced orientation conducted by an employee of the County Clerk’s office. The information flew by but we were provided with a short booklet that covered all the material. We were administered an oath and provided a start-up set of registration materials. It boils down to this: Are you able to ask a few questions? Can you fill out a ½ page form? If the answer is yes, you should become a deputy voter registrar.

Small Gotcha. Simple Solution

Prospective deputy voter registrars must first be “designated” by any of a long list of people and organizations. But let’s make it simple. If you look at the calendar on this website and/or search on this site for “voter registrar” you will find both the path and the dates for becoming designated and then getting trained. Really, there is nothing to it. Just do it.

By Sonny Cohen

Take Action: Commit to Canvassing in the IL-10th!

Join Traci Fine and other NSI and Swing Left volunteers as they canvass our Swing District as part of Swing Left’s Summer Canvassing Challenge!

This summer, Swing Left* volunteers across the country will be canvassing their target Swing Districts to talk to voters, identify supporters, and ask them to commit to vote in 2018.

  • If you have never been canvassing before, this is an easy way to get started!
  • You don’t have to talk about a specific issue or politics.
  • These friendly conversations asking people to vote in 2018 lets them know how important voting is.
  • These kinds of “commitment” conversations are powerful, and have been shown to increase turnout up to 20%.
  • Plus Canvassing is a fun outdoor activity, a way to meet neighbors, spend time outdoors, and get some exercise at the same time!

For more information, visit the events listed on our calendar, or RSVP here.

Continue reading “Take Action: Commit to Canvassing in the IL-10th!”