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Countdown to November elections: Registering to vote

This is Part 1 of a three-part series. Part 2 will offer a guide to early voting and mail-in voting. Part 3 will list the various offices that will be on the ballot for Lansing voters.

By Josh Bootsma

LANSING, Ill. (September 24, 2020) – 2020 has been a year like no other, and this year’s election will be no exception. With mail-in voting and voter safety taking a higher priority this election due to the COVID-19 pandemic, enough has changed in a process that is already less than clear for some people that a closer look at voting in Lansing is required. All the information contained below is designed to help voters make the most of their voting privileges in the November 3 election.

Voter Registration

Only registered voters are allowed to vote in elections. Simply being a citizen or having an Illinois ID does not mean you are registered to vote.

There are multiple ways to register for the November 3 election:

  1. Online: Online registration allows you to register from the comfort of your home. The deadline is Oct. 18. This method requires an IL driver’s license or state ID. The online form to register in Cook County is available HERE.
  2. Mail-in application: Using a mail-in application allows you to print the application form online, fill it out, and mail it to the Cook County Clerk’s Office. Mailed applications must be postmarked by Oct. 6. This method requires a Driver’s License or State ID number, or the last four digits of your social security number. The print-and-mail form is available in English HERE, and in Spanish HERE.
  3. In-person registration: Cook County residents wishing to register in person have until Oct. 6 to do so. They can go to the following locations:
    • Any one of the Cook County Clerk’s six locations. Map HERE.
    • A village, city, or township clerk.
    • An Illinois Secretary of State’s driver’s license facility. You can register to vote when you obtain or renew your driver’s license or state identification card at any of the license facilities. A list of facility locations is available HERE.
    • Deputy Registrars. Trained deputy registrars may register you to vote. A deputy registrar will have an official identification card from the Cook County Clerk’s Office.
  4. Grace Period registration and voting: If you miss the deadlines listed above, you can still register using Grace Period registration at at all suburban Cook County courthouses and at the Cook County Administration Building in Chicago starting Oct 7. Starting Oct. 19, more than 50 locations across suburban Cook County will be available for Grace Period registration and voting. This option is available until Nov. 2 and requires two pieces of identification to register. A list of acceptable ID is available HERE. Once registered, you must vote immediately afterward at the same location. A list of locations available for Grace Period registration and voting is available HERE. The Lansing Public Library is a Grace Period location starting Oct. 19.
  5. Election day registration: Voters not registered on election day can register at their home precinct only. Two pieces of ID are required. A list of acceptable ID is available HERE. If you don’t know your home precinct, you can find it HERE.

Further information on voter registration can be found on the Cook County Clerk’s website.

Checking on your status

If you’re not sure if you’re registered, where your polling place is, where your early voting site is, or what your mail ballot status is, click HERE to enter your address and receive that information. This link also allows you to view your elected officials, from the federal level all the way down to the municipality level.

Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.