Illinois voters have begun to receive notices about the ability to vote-by-mail in the state, and many may have questions about how to go about that process.
Whether it’s how to actually fill out an application, or when the deadline is to fill out an application, here is everything you need to know about voting by mail in the state of Illinois.
When Can I Apply to Vote by Mail?
Under state law, vote-by-mail applications can be submitted as soon as 90 days prior to the date of the election. The 2022 general election will be held on Nov. 8, meaning that applications can be submitted now.
How Can I Apply to Vote by Mail?
In Illinois, residents must obtain an application in order to request a mail-in ballot.
Voters can either obtain that application via the State Board of Elections’ website, or from their local county clerk’s office.
That application must be returned to the county clerk’s office in the county where the applicant resides.
Who is Eligible to Register?
Anyone who is registered to vote in the state of Illinois can send in an application to receive a mail-in ballot.
Registered or non-registered members of the U.S. Armed Forces who are on active duty, or employees serving outside of the United States and anticipate being gone for Election Day may also apply to receive a mail-in ballot.
Registered and non-registered citizens who are out of the country and who maintain a precinct residence in Illinois can also apply.
When is the Deadline to Register?
If applying within the United States, voters must submit their application to vote by mail no later than five days prior to the election, which this year falls on Nov. 3.
If the voter is outside of the U.S., the application must be received at least 30 days prior to the election.
I’ve Received My Ballot. When Can I Send It In?
According to SBOE officials, members of the military and those residents living overseas can submit their ballots no sooner than 45 days prior to Election Day.
All other residents can submit their ballots no more than 40 days prior to the election.
Can I Vote in Person if I Receive a Mail-in Ballot?
Voters are allowed to vote in person if they choose, but must fulfill one of several requirements to do so.
According to state officials, voters can hand their mail-in ballot over to election judges, or a portion of the ballot if they want to cancel their vote.
Voters can also choose to fill out and sign an affidavit stating that they did not receive their ballot in the mail, or they can fill out an affidavit saying that they did send in their ballot, but that the local election authority did not receive it.
Where Can I Find Additional Information?
Voters can find information on deadlines, early voting and any other election-related questions on the Illinois State Board of Elections’ website.