Voters can request absentee ballots

September 22, 2004
Press Release

Suburban residents who will be out of town or physically unable to reach their polling place during the Nov. 2 general election may apply for a mail-in absentee ballot from the Cook County Clerk’s office, Clerk David Orr announced today.

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

print an application from the Clerk’s election website, For more information, visit our absentee page.

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.

Residents should return their completed absentee applications — no later than Thursday, Oct. 28 — to the Cook County Clerk’s downtown office, which will determine if a voter is eligible to receive a mail-in absentee ballot.

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. Among the eligible voters who most commonly request absentee ballots are those that will be outside of the county, are physically incapacitated, serving on a jury or as an election judge, and those observing a religious holiday.

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. Nov. 2).

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 vote in-person absentee.

In-person absentee voting will begin Oct. 12 and end Nov. 1. Eligible voters can cast ballots at participating village and township clerk’s offices or at the County Clerk’s downtown office (69 W. Washington St.). Voters should call the Clerk’s office at (312) 603-1122 for downtown hours, or their local village or township clerk for availability, times and locations.

Clerk 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. Also, 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.

For more information about voting absentee, call (312) 603-0906, or visit