How do I verify my vote was counted in Illinois?
With more people this year voting by mail or voting early, it’s more important than ever to verify your vote was counted.
The election on Nov. 3 is one of the most significant elections for Illinoisans because, for the first time in 50 years, they will have the ability to directly tell lawmakers “no” to an income tax hike.
Voters will see a question on their ballots asking if they want to scrap the current constitutional protection that forces state lawmakers to raise taxes on everyone at once. That protection was written into the Illinois Constitution 50 years ago to preventing lawmakers from dividing taxpayers and raising taxes on a small group at a time, thus avoiding political backlash.
There is much speculation this year about voting by mail and potential voter fraud. But you can safeguard your vote by verifying your voice was heard in this election.
I voted by mail. Now what?
After you have cast a vote by mail ballot, you have the ability to verify that your ballot was received and counted. You may call your local election authority to verify this information. Click here to look up your election authority.
If voting in person, you will know your ballot is counted when you submit it to the ballot machine.
My mail ballot was not received. What may have happened?
If a person cast a ballot by mail, yet the election authority has no record, there could be a few explanations. Though unlikely, it is possible for a ballot to be lost in the mail. The more likely case is that the U.S. Postal Service was unable to deliver the ballot in time.
The best ways to prevent this from happening is to vote by mail well in advance of election day, drop mail ballots off in person at the election authority or to vote in person.
Why are ballots rejected?
Common reasons for a ballot to be rejected are incorrectly filling out the ballot envelope, or a perceived signature comparison mismatch.
Each precinct has three election judges presiding over the election in their area. With a majority vote of the judges, meaning two out of three vote in favor, a ballot may be rejected for the following reasons:
- The certification envelope contains no signature
- The ballot envelope was delivered opened
- The voter has already cast a ballot
- The voter voted in person on Election Day or for early voting
- The voter is not registered in that precinct
With an affirmative vote of all three election judges, a ballot may be rejected because the signature on the certification envelope does not match the signature on file, or if the signature was not in the proper location.
My ballot was rejected. Now what?
If a ballot is rejected before Nov. 3, then the election authority must notify the voter within two days. If it’s rejected after Nov. 3, then within one day. The notification will come in the form of a letter or email with an explanation of why it was rejected.
What happens then:
- If the ballot was rejected because of an issue with the signature, then the voter may submit a statement that the voter did indeed cast the ballot. If received before Nov. 17, then it is counted as a provisional ballot.
- If the ballot was rejected because the envelope was opened, then the voter may submit another ballot in person, or by mail. They must do this before 7 p.m., Nov. 3.