Voters can request absentee ballots for Nov. 4 election

September 25, 2008
Press Release

Absentee ballot applications are now being accepted for the November 4, 2008 Presidential Election, Cook County Clerk David Orr announced today.

"If you can't make it to the polls on Election Day or during Early Voting, absentee voting is a convenient way to cast your ballot," Orr said.

To vote absentee, you must, by law, have a reason you cannot make it to your polling place on Election Day. Among the eligible voters who most commonly request absentee ballots:

  • Voters who will be outside of the county, such as college students;
  • Voters who are physically incapacitated;
  • Voters serving on a jury or as election judges;
  • Voters observing a religious holiday;
  • Voters in jail awaiting trial;
  • Voters serving in the military.

To request a mail-in absentee ballot application, visit the absentee page, call (312) 603-0906, or visit the Clerk's downtown office, 69 W. Washington, Fifth floor, Chicago, IL 60602.

Suburban residents should return their completed absentee applications - no later than Oct. 30 - to the Cook County Clerk's downtown office. The Clerk's office will verify that voters are registered and verify their signatures before issuing ballots.

Voted absentee ballots must be postmarked by midnight on Nov. 3 and received by Nov. 18.

Another option is Early Voting, which doesn't require an excuse. When possible, suburban voters are encouraged to vote at one of the 44 Early Voting locations from Oct. 13-30. A government-issued photo ID is required during Early Voting.

If a voter misses the Oct. 30 absentee ballot application deadline, in-person absentee voting will be held Oct. 31 to Nov. 3 at the Clerk's downtown office and at the Clerk's six suburban offices located in regional courthouses.