Your Mail-in Ballot Questions Answered

No vote, no voice!

42+ states and the District of Columbia have approved mail-in, or absentee balloting. It’s a safe method for those concerned about Covid-19 exposure. You can mail it or drop it off at the ballot drop-off boxes at the Winnebago or Boone County clerks offices or the Rockford Board of Elections.

HOW DO I GET A MAIL-IN BALLOT?

Anyone who is registered to vote in Illinois can request a mail ballot, and anyone who applied to vote in 2018, 2019 or 2020 will automatically receive a vote-by-mail application through the postal service or email.

Applications will begin arriving in the coming weeks.

Voters must submit their applications either by mail or in person to their local voting jurisdiction. For those who haven’t voted in recent years, applications for each jurisdiction can be found at elections.il.gov/electionoperations/VotingByMail.aspx.

Applications are due by Oct. 29 at the latest.

WHEN DO I GET MY BALLOT?

If their application is approved, voters will receive their ballot by mail. Ballots begin going out on Sept. 24, the same day early voting begins.

Ballots must be returned by Nov. 3 either in person at the local election authority or by mail. Officials will accept ballots by mail up to 15 days after the election, but they must be postmarked by Nov. 3.

CAN I STILL VOTE IN PERSON?

Voters can still cast their mail-in ballots in person on Election Day or during early voting.

All early voting sites will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Early voting begins September 24 and ends November 2.

Every election authority can establish one “super site” either at their office or in the jurisdiction’s largest municipality where any voter in the jurisdiction, regardless of precinct, can vote on Election Day.

Mail ballots will be counted on Election Night. Judges can begin verifying signatures and processing ballots up to 15 days prior to the election, but the ballots won’t be tabulated until Nov. 3.

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