Orr reminds residents to sign up to vote

February 21, 2003
Press Release

Tuesday, March 4, is the final day that Chicago and suburban Cook County residents can register to vote in the April 1 consolidated election, Cook County Clerk David Orr announced.

Suburban Cook County residents can sign up to vote at: any village or township hall, the Clerk’s downtown office (69 W. Washington St., Suite 500), or at one of the satellite offices located in the five suburban Cook County courthouses.

Orr also reminds voters who have recently moved to re-register at their current address. To register, prospective voters must present two pieces of identification, including one displaying a current address (a bill mailed to the prospective voter will suffice).

Depending on the suburb, elections for village president/mayor, village trustee/alderman/commissioner, park and library district boards, school boards and fire protection district boards as well as referendums will take place.

Suburban voters who will be out of the county or physically unable to reach their polling place during the April 1 consolidated election may now apply for a mail-in absentee ballot from the Clerk’s office.

To request a mail-in absentee ballot application, registered voters can:

  • call the Clerk’s office at (312) 603-0906
  • download a request form via the Clerk’s election website www.voterinfonet.com
  • write or visit the Clerk’s office, 69 W. Washington St., Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60602

Voters should return the completed absentee application — no later than March 27 — 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 to the Clerk’s downtown office and must be received by Election Day (April 1). Clerk Orr reminds voters that Illinois law prohibits anyone except the voter, a family member or a bonded messenger from mailing or handling completed absentee ballots.

Under state law, registered voters may qualify to cast an absentee ballot only if they cannot get to their respective polling sites 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.

In addition, in-person absentee voting for the April 1 consolidated election will begin March 10 and end March 31. Qualified absentee voters can cast ballots at their municipal clerk’s office or at the Cook County Clerk’s downtown office. Voters residing in unincorporated Cook County can cast ballots at their township clerk’s office. Voters should call the Clerk’s office at (312) 603-0906 or their local clerk for times and locations.

Those who registered to vote using a mail-in registration form are not eligible to vote by mail-in absentee ballot the first time they vote. They must either vote in their precinct on Election Day, at the Clerk’s downtown office, or at their local municipal hall during in-person absentee voting.

To register to vote, a person must be: a U.S. citizen; at least 18 years old by Election Day (April 1); and a resident of the precinct for at least 30 days prior to the election.

For more information, visit www.voterinfonet.com or call (312) 603-0906.