Suburban voters who will be unable to reach their polling place for the March 16 primary election may apply for a mail-in absentee ballot from Cook County Clerk David Orr’s office.
Voting in the primary election will allow voters to help decide political party nominees for the November general election for U.S. president, U.S. Senate and Congress, for the Illinois General Assembly, and for Cook County offices including State’s Attorney, Circuit Court Clerk and Recorder of Deeds. There will also be elections to fill judge vacancies and to decide referendums in some suburbs.
To obtain a mail-in absentee ballot application, registered voters can:
- Print an application from the Clerk’s election website, www.voterinfonet.com.
- Call to request one from the Clerk’s office at (312) 603-0906.
- Write or visit the Clerk’s office, 69 W. Washington St., Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60602.
Under state law, registered voters may qualify to cast an absentee ballot only if they cannot make it to their polling place on Election Day. Voters most commonly request absentee ballots because they will be out of the county or they are physically incapacitated. Voters serving as election judges or on jury duty or those observing a religious holiday also may apply to vote absentee.
Completed applications should be returned — no later than March 11 — to the Cook County Clerk’s downtown office, which will determine if a voter is eligible to receive a mail-in absentee ballot. The Clerk’s office will send absentee ballots to qualified voters as soon as they become available.
Voted mail-in absentee ballots can be mailed or delivered to the Clerk’s downtown office and must be received by the closing of the polls on Election Day (7 p.m. March 16). Orr reminds voters that Illinois law prohibits anyone except the voter, a family member or a bonded messenger from handling, mailing or delivering completed absentee ballots.
In addition, making a false statement to obtain an absentee ballot or soliciting someone to do so is considered vote fraud and is a criminal offense punishable by up to five years in prison. Call (312) 603-0909 to report vote fraud.
In-person absentee voting for the March 16 primary election will begin Feb. 23 and end March 15. Eligible absentee voters can cast ballots at their village and township clerk’s office or at the Cook County Clerk’s downtown office (69 W. Washington St.). Voters should call the Clerk’s office at (312) 603-0906 or their local village or township clerk for times and locations.
Individuals who registered to vote using a mail-in registration form are not eligible to vote absentee by mail the first time they vote. If eligible to vote absentee, they must either vote in their precinct on Election Day, at the Clerk’s downtown office (69 W. Washington St.), or at their local village or township hall during in-person absentee voting.
For more information about voting absentee, call (312) 603-0906 or visit www.voterinfonet.com.