With the June 28 Illinois Primary Election Day drawing near, it’s a good time for voters to brush up on the rules of in-person voting. Whether you are a seasoned voting veteran or a newcomer to the ballot box, here are some things you should know when heading to your polling place to cast your primary vote.
Am I required to show my ID?
You should not need to bring an ID to your polling site if you are already registered to vote in Illinois, but officials encourage bringing one just in case.
What do I do if I am asked to show my ID?
Election judges may ask for identification if they challenge your right to vote, ID was not provided upon registering online or by mail or if you are not listed as registered to vote in the state.
If an election judge does ask for your ID, you are still not required to produce one in order to vote in person — you can cast a provisional ballot without showing ID. The poll worker will then instruct you on how to submit proof of registration after the fact.
Provisional ballots are kept separate from normal ballots and are not processed until they have been investigated after Election Day. You can cast a provisional ballot if your right to vote is challenged for any reason, but make sure to follow up with your county’s election board to ensure your vote has been counted if you do so. Most provisional ballots are processed within two weeks after Election Day.
If an election judge tells you that you are not listed as registered, but you are certain you registered, make sure they spelled your name correctly. You can also use your mailing address to ensure you are at the correct polling place or ask the judge to call your county elections office.
What sort of campaigning is allowed near the polling place?
Attempting to influence a voter within 100 feet of a polling place is against the law, but Election Day campaigning is legal beyond that range. Anyone conducting exit poll interviews must also operate outside that 100 foot radius.
If you feel these laws are being broken at your polling site, inform a poll worker and report the offense to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Illinois Attorney General’s office or your local election board — especially if you feel that people are attempting to intimidate or turn away potential voters. Knowingly preventing a person from voting by using intimidation or threats can be a felony offense in Illinois.
Am I allowed to bring in notes when I go to vote?
Voters are allowed to bring any written or printed materials to assist them in the voting process in Illinois. According to DeKalb County Clerk Douglas Johnson, “You are allowed to bring notes written on your phone, we just ask that you remember to take your phone with you when you leave.”
What if I go to the wrong polling place?
If you show up to the wrong polling place, you can share your address with the polling place’s election judge and they will help you find your correct polling location. If your address can’t be located or you end up in the wrong election jurisdiction, you or a poll worker can contact the local election authority for more information. Voters are encouraged to double check their polling locations on Election Day at the official state polling place lookup website.
What is the minimum that I must show an election judge if asked?
Registered Illinois voters are not required to show identification at the polls to vote, but you will be required to verify your signature. Identification may be requested if the election judge is challenging your right to vote, you are not listed as registered to vote in the state, or you did not provide proof of identification when registering by mail.
If you are asked to provide proof of identification in order to vote, acceptable forms of identification include a current and valid photo ID, a utility bill, a bank statement, a government check, a paycheck, a lease or contract for residence, a student ID and mail addressed to the voter’s residence, or a government document. Any one of these forms of identification are accepted forms of identification and must show your name and address. If you are unable to provide any of these forms of identification, you will be asked to fill out a Provisional Ballot.
Early voters must show a current driver’s license, state-issued identification card, or another government-issued identification card.
What if I move before the election? Can I still vote?
Illinois voters must have lived at their current address for at least 30 days before election day in order to vote at their new polling place and must register their new address before election day. Any Illinois voters who moved have until Sunday, June 12 to register their new address online or through election day to register at their new polling place. “You can register to vote on election day in the polling place,” explained Douglas Johnson, “You do need to show two forms of identification when you register to vote, one of which has your new address on it.”
Voters who moved before May 29 can vote at their new polling place while voters who moved on or after May 29 must vote in their old jurisdiction. To cancel your old registration, voters are encouraged to send a signed letter to the election officials in their old jurisdiction.