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What you need to know about same-day voter registration in Chicago

If you're planning on registering at the polls, here's what you need to know.

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

If you never got around to registering to vote before the deadline passed (hey, we get it, there's a lot going on right now) but you'd still like to vote early or head to the polls on Election Day, you're in luck. Since 2014, same-day voter registration has given all Illinois residents the ability to register at early voting sites or at their assigned precinct polling places on Election Day before casting their ballots.

It's not too late to take part in one of the most important elections in history—here are some answers to frequently asked questions about same-day voter registration in Chicago.

Do I need to vote on Election Day to take advantage of same-day voter registration?

Nope! You can register and vote at all Chicago early voting sites through November 2. Same-day voter registration is also available on Election Day (November 3), but you must do so at your assigned precinct polling place or at the United Center's Super Site.

Where are the early voting sites offering same-day voter registration?

You'll find an early voting site in all 50 Chicago wards and one in the Loop (they're open Mon–Fri 8:30am–7pm; Sat, Sun 9am–5pm). There are also early voting sites at Chicago State University (9501 S Martin Luther King Dr), the UIC Student Center (750 S Halsted St) and Northeastern Illinois University (5500 N St Louis Ave) that are open October 28–30 ONLY from 10am to 5pm. Find the complete list of early voting sites on the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners website.

What polling places are offering same-day voter registration on Election Day?

All of them, but you need to make sure you do so at your assigned precinct polling place (which you can look up by supplying your address on the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners website) or at the United Center Super Site. All polls in Chicago are open from 6am to 7pm on Election Day.

What information do I need to provide for same-day voter registration?

As long as you're a U.S. citizen born on or before November 3, 2002 and have been living in your precinct at least 30 days before the election, you're eligible to vote in the 2020 election. Same-day voter registration requires you to show up to your polling place with two forms of ID, one of which must list the voter's current address. They include certain ID cards and documents as well as official mail that is addressed to the voter.

What forms of ID are accepted for same-day voter registration?

  • Passport or military ID
  • Driver's license or state ID card
  • College, university, school or work ID
  • Vehicle registration card
  • Lease, mortgage or deed to home
  • Credit or debit card
  • Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid card
  • Insurance card
  • Civic, union or professional membership card
  • LINK, public aid, Department of Human Services card
  • Illinois FOID card

What pieces of mail may be used as a form of ID for same-day voter registration?

  • Bill, transcript or report card from school
  • Bank statement, pay stub or pension statement
  • Utility, medical or insurance bill
  • Official mail from any government agency

What if one of my forms of ID isn't accepted?

Don't despair just yet! If one or both of your forms of ID are rejected, you can still cast a provisional ballot at early voting sites or at your assigned precinct polling place on Election Day. In order for your provisional ballot to be counted, you MUST present two forms of valid ID within 7 days of the election to the Chicago Election Board (69 W Washington St, Suite 600). The Chicago Election Board is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. All valid provisional ballots are counted 14 days after Election Day.

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