How to vote in the 2023 Chicago election

How to vote in the 2023 Chicago election

Late January is the start of voting for the Feb. 28 Chicago municipal elections for early, in-person voting and for those who’ve requested mail-in ballots. Here’s your guide to voting in Chicago for mayor, alderman and other city offices.

Chicago voters who want to avoid frigid temperatures and long lines – and still ensure their voices are heard – can take the first step starting Jan. 26 by voting early or by mail in the Chicago municipal elections.

Early, in-person voting will start Jan. 26 at two Chicago vote centers. Starting Jan. 19, vote by mail ballots will be mailed to voters who have applied for the program. The vote-by-mail application remains open to until Feb. 23.

There’s also the option of braving what the Windy City brings to your local polling place on Election Day, Feb. 28.

Here’s everything you need to know:

How do I vote early?

Starting in late January, registered voters can go to the Chicago Board of Elections Supersite, 191 N. Clark St., and Board offices, 6th floor, 69 W. Washington, to vote early in the Chicago city elections as early as Jan. 26.

Early voting sites will expand on Feb. 13 to include locations in all 50 Chicago aldermanic wards. These sites, along with the Board Supersite, will remain open as vote centers on Election Day, Feb. 28.

For a full list of locations for early, in-person voting, visit the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners website.

What is vote by mail?

Registered voters can easily apply to vote by mail in the Chicago election here. No specific reason is required. This system offers Chicagoans a convenient way to vote and allows them to complete ballots from the comfort and privacy of their homes, with the option of researching as they vote.

Illinoisans can also choose to automatically receive mail-in ballots for all future primary and general elections with a single application, rather than having to request a ballot before each election. Chicagoans can sign up for the permanent vote by mail roster by filling out this simple form and mailing or returning it to Chicago Board of Elections, 69 W. Washington St. #800 no later than Feb. 23.

How do I vote by mail?

The application to vote by mail in the upcoming municipal election is now open. To vote by mail, complete this short online application, or print and return a paper application to the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.

Applications are currently being accepted and must be received by 5 p.m., Feb. 23.

How do I cast my vote-by-mail ballot?

Once you receive your mail-in ballot, follow all instructions to complete it. The signed and sealed ballot return envelope may be returned by mail, placed in a secured drop box at any Chicago early voting location before Election Day, or by personal delivery to the Election Board.

Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked by Feb. 28. If returning the mail-in ballot in person, you must deliver it to a secured drop box location at any Chicago early voting location before Election Day, or to the Election Board by the close of polls at 7 p.m., Feb. 28.

Vote-by-mail ballots may also be surrendered to the judges at the precinct and polling place for that voter’s home address and exchanged for a traditional ballot so a voter can choose to cast a ballot in person.

Is voting by mail safe?

Voting by mail is secure, simple and backed by Illinoisans of all major political parties. Members of the U.S. military have used absentee voting since the American Revolution, and many Union soldiers voted by mail during the Civil War. The system allows you to track your ballot after returning it and ensures no one else uses your identity to vote on Election Day.

What are the important dates to remember?

  • Jan. 19: First day for vote-by-mail ballots to be mailed to voters.
  • Jan. 26: First day of in-person, early voting
  • Feb. 23: Last day for vote-by-mail applications to be completed online or received by the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.
  • Feb. 28: Election Day. Polls are open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Last day to postmark ballot return envelopes for mail-in ballots. Last day to drop off mail-in ballots at the Election Board office, at your local polling place or at a secured drop box before polls close at 7 p.m.

Visit the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners website to find your local polling place or a list of secured drop box locations.

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