AG MADIGAN ADVISES ELECTION AUTHORITIES ON VOTER ID REQUIREMENTS & ANNOUNCES HER OFFICE WILL MONITOR ELECTION
Illinois Law Does Not Require Voters to Show ID Except in Limited Circumstances
Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today issued an advisory to local election authorities and state’s attorneys’ offices on voter identification requirements. Madigan also announced that 187 teams of assistant attorneys general from her office will monitor the General Election to ensure that Illinois voters’ rights are protected and polling places are accessible.
Madigan urges voters to contact her office if they encounter suspected improper or illegal activity on Election Day:
- Chicago area and northern Illinois voters should call 1-866-536-3496 (TTY 1-800-964-3013).
- Central and southern Illinois voters should call 1-866-559-6812 (TTY 1-877-844-5461).
Under the Illinois Election Code, individuals are not required to present identification when voting except in very limited circumstances. Election authorities and local election officials may not ask voters to present identification unless one of the following limited circumstances apply:
- A voter is registering to vote, or changing his or her address, and casting a ballot at the same time on Election Day (10 ILCS 5/4-10, 4-50, 5-9, 5-50);
- A voter registered to vote by mail but did not submit sufficient proof of identity (10 ILCS 5/4-105, 5-105); or
- A voter’s qualifications to vote are challenged (10 ILCS 5/17-10).
Election Day Registration & Voting
Voters should be aware that the law allows them to register to vote and cast their ballots at the same time on Election Day.
Voters who are registering to vote on Election Day should be prepared to show two forms of identification, at least one of which must show the voter’s current address. In the limited instances in which a voter may be required to show identification, a number of forms of identification are acceptable, including: an Illinois driver’s license or state identification card, social security card, public aid identification card, valid U.S. passport, current utility bill, employee or student identification card, lease or contract for a residence, current bank statement, or a civic, union or professional association membership card.
If a voter is required by law to present identification but fails to do so, he or she may not be turned away from the polling place. Instead, the Illinois Election Code provides that a voter is entitled to cast a provisional ballot.
The location where voters can register to vote and cast a ballot on Election Day depends on the size of the county in which the voter lives:
- Counties with a population of 100,000 or more must allow voters to vote and cast their ballots at the same time in their home polling place on Election Day.
- Counties with a population of less than 100,000 that use electronic poll books must also provide the option for voters to vote and cast their ballots at the same time in their home polling place on Election Day.
- Smaller counties that do not maintain electronic poll books must offer Election Day registration at the county’s main election office or at a polling place in the county’s larger municipalities.
Voters should contact their local election authority if they have questions about where they should go to register and vote on Election Day.
Voting by Mail
Attorney General Madigan reminded voters who plan to vote by mail to ensure their mail-in ballot is post-marked by Nov. 6 or delivered to the proper election authorities by 7 p.m. Nov. 6 to be counted in the election. A mailed ballot must be completed, signed and sealed in the certification envelope. Voters who choose to deliver their vote-by-mail ballot in person should deliver completed mail-in ballots to the office of their local or county election authority and not to their home polling place.
Voters who applied to vote by mail but did not receive a ballot can vote in person on Election Day after signing an affidavit verifying that they did not submit a vote-by-mail ballot. These voters may also be required to show identification.
Additional Basic voting rights:
- Voters have the right to vote if they are in line when the polls close at 7 p.m. or at any other time between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Election Day (10 ILCS 5/17-1).
- If your voter registration is in “inactive” status and your address has changed, in order to vote the same day you may be asked to show identification of your current address.
- If your voter registration is “canceled,” you will need to re-register and must show two forms of identification (such as a driver’s license and a utility bill), one of which must show your current address.
- If a voter cannot read, has trouble understanding English or has a disability, that voter has the right to request assistance from anyone other than his or her employer, an agent of his or her employer, or an officer or agent of his or her union (10 ILCS 5/17-14).
- Voters have the right to take sample ballots or other information into the voting booth for their own use in casting their ballot. Voters should make sure that such information is not visible to other voters in the polling place.
- If a voter makes a mistake or “spoils” a paper ballot and the voter has not cast the ballot, the voter has the right to receive a replacement ballot (10 ILCS 5/17-11).
- Voters have the right to take unpaid time from work to vote, but no more than two successive hours, as long as they have applied with their employer before Election Day. The employer may set the time of day (10 ILCS 5/17-15).
- No one is allowed to try to influence a voter within 100 feet of the polling place (10 ILCS 5/17-29).
- Under Illinois law, it is a crime to prevent a person from voting or registering to vote using intimidation, force, threat or deception (10 ILCS 5/29-4).
More information about the voting process and voter registration status can be found on the Illinois Board of Elections website or through the local election authority or county clerks’ offices.