What to know about voting early or by mail before April 6 in Cook County

What to know about voting early or by mail before April 6 in Cook County

Cook County voters have calendar dates to watch if they are voting early or by mail ahead of the April 6 election. Here’s what they need to know.

Early voting started March 16 ahead of the April 6 consolidated election in Cook County, with voters facing choices that impact their taxes, who represents them in local government and what they think about public policy questions.

Here is what you need to know about early voting and voting by mail in suburban Cook County ahead of the April 6 election.

When can I vote early?

Early, in-person voting began March 16 and continues until April 5. Voters need not give a reason for voting ahead of Election Day on April 6. They also are not required to show identification at the polls, although having an ID available with your current address will help if election authorities have a question about an address or if they challenge a voter’s signature.

Cook County early voting locations and hours can be found here.

Can I register to vote when I go to vote early?

Yes. You will need two forms of identification if you are registering for the first time or are changing your address. One of the IDs needs your current address.

How do I get a vote-by-mail ballot?

Registered Cook County voters can request a mail-in ballot through an online application.

To apply, residents will need an email address and the address where they would like the ballot mailed. In addition, a driver’s license or state ID, and the last 4 digits of their Social Security number will be required to verify the registration.

The deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot online is April 1.

If they don’t have one of the items for online registration, or prefer a printed form, registered voters can also download a ballot application to send by U.S. mail to obtain a mail-in ballot. Voters will be required to print and sign the ballot application before mailing it to the Cook County Clerk’s Office.

How does mail-in voting work?

Once a registered voter’s application has been processed, the voter will receive a mail-in ballot with a postage-paid ballot return envelope. Voters can mail the ballot back to the Cook County Clerk’s office or submit the ballot in a secured drop box at one of four locations. The locations and hours are listed here.

The ballot must be completed and either returned or postmarked no later than April 6.

To track the vote-by-mail process, the Cook County Clerk’s office will send email notifications when the ballot is mailed, when the clerk’s office receives the ballot return envelope, and when the ballot has been processed and counted.

You can also confirm receipt of your official ballot by the Cook County Clerk by using the “What Is My Mail Ballot Status” option of the Voter Information Tool. The same tool can also tell you whether you are registered to vote and your polling place on Election Day.

Voters can email the Cook County Clerk at mail.voting@cookcountyil.gov or call 312-603-0946 if they did not receive an official ballot, or if the voter has questions.

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