With the 2022 Illinois Primary set for June 28 and the mail-in voting process beginning, The Phoenix has put together everything you need to know to register and vote ahead of this year’s midterm elections.
In November, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, 34 U.S. Senate seats, 36 state governor jobs and a bevy of state and local offices will be on the ballot. During the individual state primaries, voters nominate which candidates they want to represent their party during the general election.
Historically, the Illinois primary has always been held earlier in the year. It will be held later than ever before due to disagreements over the redistricting process and delays in the 2020 Census due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the late start, mail-in voting, absentee voting, and early in-person voting will remain available to Illinois voters.
Registering to Vote
In Illinois, eligible voters must be U.S. citizens, have lived in their electoral precinct for at least 30 days prior to election day and must be 18 years old, according to the Illinois Board of Elections. The Board of Elections website provides tools to verify if residents are already registered. Unregistered voters can fill out an online form to register in the state. If registering to vote online, residents must complete the form before June 12 to vote in the June 28 primary.
There is a grace period which allows residents to register to vote in-person up until and on election day, but they must register at a designated election office or early voting location. Those who register on election day itself can only do so at their assigned polling place and must provide two forms of identification, with at least one displaying their address. This includes a valid photo ID, a current utility bill, a bank statement, a college or university ID, a paycheck or a lease or housing contract, according to the Board of Elections.
Students are in a unique scenario when it comes to registering to vote, as they may be temporarily living away from home and have identification from other states. Students living in Chicago away from home have the option to vote in their home state through an absentee ballot if they so choose, but must be registered in that state, according to the Board of Elections. Voters are not allowed to register in more than one state, so if Loyola students decide to register in Illinois they are renouncing their right to vote elsewhere.
Voting Early by Mail
Illinois is accepting early voting by mail and residents can apply for a mail-in ballot online. If planning on voting by mail, election officials recommend starting the process early as requests will need to be processed before ballots will be mailed back to voters. Election officials will not accept any mail-in ballots postmarked after June 23, according to the state board of elections.
Voters may also drop off their mail-in ballot at designated drop box locations, to avoid the postage process. The nearest drop-off locations to Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus (LSC) are at 69 W. Washington St. in the Loop and at 2100 Ridge Ave. in Evanston, IL.
Voting in Person
For those voting in-person on the day of the primary, designated polling places can be found by entering a street address on the state’s polling place lookup tool. Officials recommend that voters allot plenty of time to vote as lines at polling places can sometimes grow long on election day.
There are also early voting locations throughout Chicago open up until election day, in case residents are unable to vote on June 28.
‘I Voted’ stickers will be available on the way out.