Want to vote as an Illinois resident? We have answers to your questions!

October 1, 2020



As we work toward our vision of a stronger, more equitable future for Chicago youth, we know that civic engagement – aka VOTING – is one more way to make a change in society. So, we’ve gathered some resources for you to use as you seek to make your own voice heard leading up to Election Day on November 3:

Who Can Vote

To vote, you must be:

  • A U.S. citizen;
  • At least 18 years old on Election Day;
  • A resident of Illinois for 30 days prior to the election; and
  • Finished with all parts of any felony sentence.

More information on who can vote can be found here.

How to Register to Vote

There are three ways to register. Here’s how:

  • Online. Register online by October 16. To do so, you will need your IL driver’s license/permit number, IL ID card number, or the last four digits of your social security number.
  • Early in Person. Register at an early voting location by November 2 with proper identification.
  • Election Day in Person. Register at your polling place on Election Day – November 3 – with proper identification.

Find out more information on acceptable forms of identification here.

Where to Vote: College Student Edition

This one goes out to our alumni currently living on your college campus! If you’re not sure which address to register with, we’ve got you covered.

  • Is campus is your home? If you consider your campus address to be home, this is the address you should use to register to vote.
  • Is your permanent address your home? If you consider your permanent address – likely where you lived before you moved to campus – home, this is the address you should use to register to vote. You will either need to request an absentee ballot or travel to your voting location to vote.

More information on voting as a college student here.

Ways to Vote

Once you’re registered, there are multiple ways you can vote in Illinois:

  • Early by Mail. Request an absentee ballot and return it either by mail (must be postmarked on or before November 3) or in-person before November 2 to the election office that sent your ballot. You can request your absentee ballot here. If you’re planning to drop your ballot off, find secure Ballot Drop Box locations here.
  • Early in Person. You can vote early in person at your county election office or find early voting locations for your city or town. Find the early voting locations for your city/town here.
  • Election Day in Person. You can vote in person on November 3 at your local polling place from 7 am to 8 pm. Find your polling location here.

Not Eligible to Vote?

Don’t worry; there are alternative ways to ensure your voice is heard.

  • Engage with the issues you care about. Talk to your family and friends about the issues that matter to you. If they’re eligible to vote, engage in discussions about how their vote impacts that issue. Find and join organizations that engage with the issues you’re passionate about.
  • Learn about unions in your career field. Labor unions have a history of lobbying for political change. By learning about and joining a union in your career field, you can be a part of making a change for something you care about.
  • Become a campaign volunteer. There’s still time left to volunteer for a candidate you believe in! Find their campaign website to discover more ways to volunteer.
  • Interact with voters you know. Talk to eligible voters in your life who you trust. Use your social media platforms to share your excitement and concerns about candidates.
  • Complete the 2020 Census. Make sure you’re counted in the 2020 Census, which helps direct billions of dollars in federal funds to local communities for schools, roads, and other public services. The 2020 Census results will also be used to determine the number of seats each state has in Congress and your political representation at all levels of government. Complete the 10-minute questionnaire here.

Full List of Resources

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