Absentee voting is available and no excuse is required. The last day to request an absentee ballot by mail is 5 days before the election. Voted ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received within two weeks in order to be counted. You can return your absentee ballot request form through the mail, a secure drop box, or in person. Absentee ballots begin being counted on Election Day. Contact your local elections office for more information.
Requesting and Returning your Absentee Ballot:
You do not need an excuse to vote absentee in Illinois. You can request an absentee ballot:
- In person - no more than 90 days but before 1 day before the election
- By mail inside the US - no more than 90 days or less than 5 days before the election
- By mail outside the US - no less than 30 days before the election (to receive the full ballot), or less than 30 days but no more than 10 days before the election to receive the Federal Ballot only
Upon receipt, complete the application. Make certain to include your name, home address, address where you want the ballot to be mailed, and please remember to sign the application.
After completing the application, either mail it or hand-deliver it to your election authority. If you return the application in person or complete the application in the election authority's office, you may immediately vote with your absentee ballot in the election authority's office. If you mail the application and it is properly completed, the election authority will mail your absentee ballot to you.
After receiving your ballot, VOTE THE BALLOT IN SECRET. Insert the ballot into the envelope provided, seal it, complete and sign the certification on the back and PERSONALLY return it or mail it. The absentee voter may authorize, in writing, that a spouse, parent, child, brother, sister, or licensed motor carrier, should deliver the completed absentee ballot to the election authority in sufficient time to be delivered to the polling place on Election Day. Voted ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received within two weeks in order to be counted.
Permanent Vote-by-Mail List:
If you are a registered voter in Illinois, you may apply to be added to a permanent vote-by-mail list. A notice of this new option will be sent to all qualified voters before the next general election along with the application to opt-in. Voters will still have the option to vote-by-mail for a single election. The permanent vote-by-mail application will be available online closer to the next election here.
Those who requested an absentee ballot but end up voting in person:
To do this, voters must bring their mailed ballot to the election site and turn it in to the election judge. If they do not have their mailed ballot with them, they will only be able to vote using a provisional ballot.
Overseas citizens and U.S. military personnel can find information on how to register to vote and request an absentee ballot from the Overseas Vote Foundation.
Request your Ballot