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What you need to know about voting in the Chicago mayoral runoff election

Written by
Marty Johnson

In April, Chicagoans will head to the polls (again!) to vote in a special runoff election that will elect Chicago's first black female mayor. Runoff elections are a relatively new development in Chicago politics, so if you're confused about why we're already heading back to the voting booth, take a look at our guide to navigating the special election.

When is election day?

Chicagoans will head to the polls (again) on Tuesday, April 2. Polls are open from 6am to 7pm.

Who's on the ballot?

The entire city will vote for the next mayor and the city's treasurer. In the mayoral race, Lori Lightfoot is running against Toni Preckwinkle, while in the treasurer race, Ameya Pawar is facing Melissa Conyears-Ervin. Fifteen wards are also having runoff aldermanic elections.

Can I vote early?

Yes, early voting for the runoff election opened on Monday, March 18 at all 50 ward sites and the Loop Super Site (175 W Washington). Site hours vary, so check before you head to polls, but most are open from 9am–5pm.

Where do I vote if I'm voting on election day?

Early voters get to cast their ballot at any polling place, but on election day you are required vote at your assigned ward site.

Who is eligible to vote in the runoff election?

If you're an U.S. citizen who will be 18 years old by April 2, 2019 and you have lived in your Chicago precinct at least 30 days, you are eligible to vote. Didn't vote in Chicago's February election? It doesn't matter! You can still cast a ballot in April.

What if I'm not registered yet?

You can register to vote and then cast your ballot at any of the 50 ward sites and the Loop Super Site during the early voting period (March 18 – April 1). You can also register on election day, but you must do so at your assigned ward site. Check here to see if you're already registered.

What do I do if I've moved recently?

If you moved before March 4, you should vote at the assigned polling place that corresponds to your new address. If you moved after March 4, vote at your old precinct.

Do I need to show an ID to vote?

As long as you are already registered to vote, your signature matches the one that the polling place has on record and there's no questions about your registration, then you don't need your ID. It never hurts to bring along your card, though.

Should I vote?

Yes, yes, yes! Almost seventy percent of registered Chicago voters didn't vote in the February election. Every vote counts and every Chicago resident should have an interest in helping decide the future of the city we call home.

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