Save time Apply Online to Vote by Mail. If you endured massive lines when voting early or on election day during the last election – Vote by Mail! The deadline to have a Vote By Mail application submitted online or at the offices of the Board of Elections is 5 pm on March 28 for the April 2, 2019 Election. Ballots are being mailed out beginning March 15.
Consolidated Primary Election February 26, 2019. This is the general election for mayor, city clerk, city treasurer, and all 50 aldermanic seats.
Consolidated General Election April 2, 2019. This is the runoff election if no candidate for mayor receives more than 50% of the votes. There are also several Aldermanic runoffs.
Voting by mail
You may now apply online to Vote By Mail. Vote when and where you want.
COTC tip: Many people think that vote by mail ballots are only counted if the election is close. That is NOT TRUE. I always vote by mail and I work on election day at my precinct and my vote is always counted before election day.
COTC tip 2: I would recommend that when you receive your vote by mail ballot that you return it as soon as possible. That way if there is any issue you have time to correct it. I would not turn it in on election day because Illinois does not have any remedy to correct a voting error after election day.
COTC tip 3: If you get a Vote by Mail ballot and decide not to Vote by Mail or make a mistake YOU MUST bring the “spoiled” ballot with you to Early Voting or on Election Day and you can exchange it for a new ballot. Don’t throw it away.
When you apply online, the Board of Election Commissioners will:
- Send you an email to confirm that your online application has been received;
- Send you an email to notify you when your ballot is being mailed; and,
- Send you an email to let you know when the Board has received your ballot.
Then when you get your ballot fill it out and mail it back. It comes with a postage paid envelope.
Even if you decide later not to Vote By Mail, you must bring the Vote By Mail ballot to Early Voting site or your precinct polling place and then vote on a separate ballot in person. Questions? Call 312-269-7967 or email VoteByMail(at)chicagoelections.net.
Who to vote for
There are a number of voting guides available. Google “February 26 Chicago election voting guides” and pick a guide that matches your political affiliation. The non-partisan Judicial Voters Guide – The Chicago Bar Association is helpful for selecting judges to vote for or against.
Any registered voter may Vote By Mail. Voters do not need a reason or excuse to Vote by Mail.
Apply to Vote By Mail
The Board advises applying to Vote By Mail between March 5 and March 20 to assure that you have time to receive and return your ballot by April 2.
Apply by March 20 to ensure enough time to receive and return your ballot by Election Day. The legal deadline for the Board to receive an application is 5 p.m. on March 28, but that may not provide you with enough time to receive and return your ballot by Election Day.
PLEASE NOTE: The Election Board will begin mailing voters their Vote By Mail ballots March 15.
2. Vote and Return Your Ballot: Be Sure to read the instructions before you get your ballot
Mark your mail ballot and return it to the Election Board for processing. NOTE: The Board supplies each Vote By Mail applicant with a postage-paid envelope to return the ballots.
NOTE: When marking your ballot, use a black or blue ballpoint pen. Make one solid line to connect the head of the arrow to the tail of the arrow next to each selection you make on the ballot. Do NOT use a thick-tip marker, which will bleed through the paper and cause the ballot to be unreadable by the ballot scanner.
Follow all enclosed instructions and make sure to vote in secret. A mail ballot must be postmarked (or in the absence of a postmark, certified by the voter) on or before Election Day April 2 in order to be counted. In addition, the Board must receive the ballot by April 16, 2019 for the ballot to be counted.
The ballot may be returned:
– through the U.S. Postal Service OR
– by personal delivery to the Election Board, either by the voter or an immediate relative OR
– through a state-licensed motor carrier, such as FedEx, UPS or DHL.
Once a mail ballot has been returned to the Board, it cannot be retrieved or withdrawn. The same voter cannot vote in person in the polling place on Election Day unless he or she brings the mail ballot (or a portion of it) to the election judges OR completes an affidavit stating the mail ballot was never received by the voter or that it was received and lost.
Note: Any mail ballot that is postmarked Wed., April 3 or later cannot be counted, by law. If a ballot envelope is placed in a mail drop box April 2 in the afternoon or evening, that envelope may be postmarked April 3 and will not be eligible to be counted.
If you could not apply for a mail ballot by the March 28 deadline, OR if you applied and did not receive your mail ballot, or if you lose the ballot, or if you cannot return the ballot with a postmark of April 2 or earlier:
– Call 312-269-7967 on or before Thurs., March 28 to alert us that you have not received your ballot; OR
Cancel your mail ballot and receive and cast an Election Day ballot at the polling place assigned to your precinct on Tues., April 2. If the voter has the mail ballot, that ballot should be surrendered to the election judges. If the voter does not have the mail ballot, the voter may cast a provisional ballot after completing a provisional-ballot affidavit.
More info for Military/Civilian Overseas Voters, Voting By Mail for Physical Disability, Five-Year DVI Card, Residents of Licensed Nursing Homes Voters and Hospitalized Voters.
Abuse of Vote By Mail
It is a felony in Illinois to vote more than once in the same election or to attempt to vote more than once in the same election.
Falsifying Eligibility for Vote By Mail Ballots, Intimidation/Interference
Persons who knowingly make a false statement concerning their identity or their eligibility to Vote By Mail may be criminally prosecuted under Illinois law (10 ILCS 5/29-10), a Class 3 felony. Any person who intimidates or unduly influences another person to cast a Vote By Mail ballot in a manner inconsistent with the voter’s intent or who marks or tampers with a Vote By Mail ballot of another person shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony.
Note: A physically incapacitated voter is entitled to assistance if that voter requests the assistance.
Voters are forbidden by law from using multiple voting systems (any combination of voting on Election Day, Early Voting and/or Vote By Mail) to change or undo a ballot for any reason, or to vote more than once. Attempting to vote more than once is a felony.