Perhaps your college student went off to college in the last couple weeks without registering to vote. He or she wants to know if he/she is still able to vote in this fall's National Election on November 6th. The answer is YES. Just follow these easy directions:
TO REGISTER TO VOTE, you must be:
- A U.S. citizen
- 18 years old by Election Day
- A resident of your precinct at least 30 days prior to Election Day
You must also display two pieces of identification. Neither needs to be a photo ID, but one must include your current address. These will be presented to the person registering you.
WHERE AND HOW DO I REGISTER?
1. Register in person at the County Clerks' office -- a total of 6 different office, including Markham and Chicago.
2. Register in person at village, city or township hall offices; Drivers' License facilities, and some other State agencies.
3. Register in person with a Deputy Registrar any place in the State.
4. MAIL-IN VOTER APPLICATION: You can complete a mail-in voter application form and return it to the Cook County Clerk's office. Obtain the form and instructions by logging on to www.cookcountyclerk.com/elections and clicking on "Voter Registration." THIS METHOD WILL BE WHAT MOST OUT-OF-TOWN COLLEGE STUDENTS WILL NEED TO USE.
Grace-period registration and voting is the only way to register or change your name or address after the regular registration period ends. It is the only way you may vote if your information is not up to date. For the November 6, 2012, election, grace-period registration and voting will be conducted October 10 to November 3 at each Clerk's Office location. Identification is needed when registering in person.
WHERE TO I VOTE?
Your voter registsration card contains your township and precinct number. You can obtain your polling place location, check your registration status, and obtain information about types of voting equipment being used in elections by using the Cook County Clerk's website: www.voterinfonet.com
HOW DO I VOTE? (College students who won't be home on November 6 -- take note!)
MAIL VOTING -- YOU DO NOT NEED A REASON BUT YOU MUST APPLY FOR A BALLOT BETWEEN 40 AND 5 DAYS BEFORE THE ELECTION. You access the mail voting application at www.cookcountyclerk.com/elections and click on "mail voting" in the column on the left. Instructions will be available there.
PROVISIONAL BALLOT -- If election judges are unable to verify your registration, you should be permitted to vote a provisional ballot and have 48 hours to submit additional proof of registration.
LWVUS has developed state-specific information on registration and voting for all states. This information is available to the public on the LWVUS website. Look under www.VOTE411.org.