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These resources will help Illinois voters find out how to vote and where to vote, and will give you tools in case you are denied access to the voting booth.

Illinois is one of the few states that allows people to vote as soon as they leave prison; there is no waiting period, and you do not have to pay fines or fees. We have compiled information and resources that we hope makes the voting process simpler for all Illinois voters.

Steps to Get Involved

Find out who is on your ballot.

You can:

  • request a sample ballot.
  • attend events hosted by the candidate.
  • look at candidates’ websites.
  • check your local news sources.

    Make a Plan

    Know how you are going to vote ahead of time. Encourage three friends to vote, too.

    Decide When to Vote

    In Illinois, you can vote by mail, vote early at certain locations, or vote on Election Day. Find out more about your options by looking at your location election authority.

    Voting Eligibility in Illinois


    You must be a U.S. citizen.

    Live in Illinois

    You must live in Illinois for at least 30 days before registering to vote.

    Be 18 (with an exception)

    In Illinois, 17-year-olds can vote in primary elections if they will be 18 before the general election.

    You Can Vote Even if You Have a Criminal History

    Illinois does not prohibit people with felony convictions or other criminal histories from voting. You can vote once you leave prison.

    People being held in jails before their trials can also vote.

    You Can Vote!

    In Illinois, you can vote even if you have been convicted of a crime. In fact, you can register to vote as soon as you leave prison. There is no waiting period — but you must register again.

    Allowed Forms of Identification

    Do not worry if you don’t have a driver’s license. There are many acceptable forms of identification in Illinois.

    Know Your Rights

    You don’t need a photo ID.

    Poll workers should not ask you for your ID unless:

  • an election judge challenges your right to vote.
  • you registered to vote by mail but changed your mind and went in person.
  • you are registering the day of the election or are changing your registration address.
  • Stay in line.

    If you are in line when the polls close, you are allowed to vote.


    You can bring materials and information into the booth with you.

    Time off for voting

    In Illinois, you can take up to two hours off of work to vote, if necessary.

    Provisional ballot

    If you are denied the right to vote, you have the right to cast a provisional ballot. After you do so, ask the poll workers for the next steps you should take.

    Is there an issue with your registration?

    Contact the Illinois State Board of Elections.

    Know Who To Call

    Here are numbers if you are denied access to the voting booth or if you experience other issues: