Our VOTES Matter
Every election is unique, and there is increased confusion over the election process. That is why we have established a central point for disabled and senior voters of Illinois, which is needed now more than ever.
Upcoming Chicago Mayoral Election
The following is a list of all of the mayoral candidates for Chicago’s April 4th runoff election, listed in alphabetical order by last name. Please note that Mayor is a non-partisan position, and any party affiliations listed below are only noted to provide a full representation of the candidates’ current congressional titles. All candidates are running for mayor without specific party affiliation.
- Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson, 1st District
- Paul Vallas
Disability Vote IL
Welcome to www.disabilityvoteil.org! We are weeks away from the next election, and we are getting ready to cast our votes. As people with disabilities and senior citizens, we have always had difficulties with accessible voting.
We trust that this guide will help you vote more easily.
Are you #VoteReady?
You only need to meet a few simple requirements to be eligible to vote in the State of Illinois. Find out if you are #VoteReady!
Register to Vote
There are many ways to register to vote—choose what works for you! Follow our guide and get registered today!
Vote by Mail
Vote by Mail and ACCESSIBLE Voting by Mail is easy and you can request a vote by mail ballot through email, mail, or in person.
Disability Vote Illinois’ Mission
We all deserve to have our unique perspectives heard
and we want to make sure that disabled voices are not silenced.
Our Votes Matter!!
We are a nonpartisan campaign effort to:
- Educate the disability and senior community about voting rights and access issues.
- Eliminate barriers to voting.
- Promote accessibility of voting technology and polling places.
- Increase voter turnout among people with disabilities and their allies.
- Let elected officials know that people with disabilities and seniors are engaged, voters.
- Encourage organizations to conduct local get-out-the-vote drives and outreach.
Are you #VoteReady???
You Can Vote if you are:
- Registered to vote
- A US Citizen
- 18 years or older by the Election Day
- A resident in your election precinct at least 30 days before Election Day.
(According to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless [link], Illinois residents who are homeless have the right to vote.)
- Not currently serving a sentence in any penal institution as a result of a conviction
(ex-convicts who have completed their sentences and who meet all other requirements listed above are eligible to register and vote in Illinois)
- You may not claim the right to vote anywhere else.
PLANNING TO REGISTER
WHAT DO I NEED TO REGISTER?
Two forms of identification are required, one of which must list your current address.
The following are acceptable forms of ID:
- Passport or Military ID
- Driver’s License or State ID card
- College/University/School/Work ID
- Vehicle registration card
- Lease, mortgage, or deed to the home
- Credit or debit card
- Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid card
- Insurance card
- Civic, union, or professional membership card
- LINK/Public Aid/Department of Human Services card
- Illinois FOID card
Mail of the following types addressed to you:
- Bill, transcript, or school report card
- Bank statement, pay stub, or pension statement
- Utility, medical, or insurance bill
- Official mail from any government agency
FIVE WAYS TO REGISTER
HOW CAN I REGISTER?
You can register to vote (or change your address) online. Online voter registration closes 16 days before the election.
The Illinois State Board of Elections’ online voter registration system allows any new registrant to apply for a vote by mail ballot when completing online voter registration. An additional application for a vote by mail ballot will not be required if this is completed.
Automatic Voter Registration
When you visit a Secretary of State Drivers Services facility, you will be asked if you want to register to vote or update your registration. If you say yes, you have “opted-in” to Automatic Voter Registration.
Your completed voter registration application is transmitted from Drivers Services to the Illinois State Board of Elections. You will be provided a receipt of the voter registration application. Keep the receipt until you receive your voter registration card from your local election authority.
You can register to vote in person at any of the following locations:
- County Clerk’s Office
- Board of Elections Office
- City and Village Halls
- Township Offices
- Driver’s License Facilities
Illinois offers voter registration at all early voting locations in the lead-up to an election. Find early voting locations near you.
In Illinois, you can register on Election Day at your polling place. Find your Election Day polling place.
Make Sure You Register Early!
VOTE BY MAIL
Changes to 2020 voting laws brought on by Covid-19 make it possible to register and vote without ever leaving home.
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, all Illinois voters now have the option to Vote By Mail, no excuses needed. Voting by mail is an easy option for voters, and you can request a vote by mail ballot through email, mail, or in person.
An application is available from your local election authority:
Chicago, IL — https://bit.ly/Chgo-VBMAppln2020
Cook County — https://bit.ly/COOKVBM-Applcn2020
or the State of Illinois — https://bit.ly/ILVBM-Applicn2020
Links to other Chicago collar county election authorities are given on the Cook County and City of Chicago election sites
Do you need your Ballot in another Language?
In Cook County, you can get a Vote by Mail Application in the following languages:
If Vote By Mail is always the best option for you, you can now join a Permanent Vote By Mail Roster and have your ballots sent directly to your preferred address ahead of every election. The form must be returned no later than 5 days prior to any election by either personal delivery, or by mail in Chicago to:
Chicago Board of Elections
69 W. Washington St. #800
Chicago, IL, 60602
Click here to download the form for the Permanent Vote By Mail Roster: https://app.chicagoelections.com/Documents/general/Form%20500%20PR%20English.pdf
If you have already signed up for the Permanent Vote By Mail Roster, you will receive your ballot at your preferred delivery address with no further action needed.
If you are outside Chicago and would like to join a Permanent Vote By Mail roster, visit your jurisdiction’s website and look for the words “Permanent Vote By Mail.” Search for your jurisdiction’s website here: https://www.elections.il.gov/ElectionOperations/ElectionAuthorities.aspx?T=637872808424895902
ACCESSIBLE VOTE BY MAIL
Accessible vote by mail for the blind and low vision votes is now available in Illinois.
QUALIFIED VOTERS WITH A DISABILITY, WHO HAVE SUCCESSFULLY APPLIED TO VOTE BY MAIL, MAY USE THIS PLATFORM TO RECEIVE THEIR BALLOT ELECTRONICALLY AND TO MARK THEIR BALLOT PRIVATELY AND INDEPENDENTLY, USING THEIR ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY.
We encourage all print disabled voters to contact their local election authority to request they opt into this option.
Chicago voters may contact email@example.com for more information or to apply using the form they will provide.
To see a demonstration of Accessible Vote By Mail, click here to go to our Videos and Webinars Page!
Be My Eyes Provides an APP for the Vision Impaired to Help with Voting
If you are blind or visually impaired and looking for help with the process of voting, look no further than the popular app, Be My Eyes. The free service that matches blind people needing assistance with volunteers who can help them navigate the visual world through a video call is partnering with Vote.org to bring you assistance with the process of voting. From registering to vote, to acquiring a mail-in ballot, to checking your registration status, to much more, this service provides help for the blind voter with just a few quick taps!
Download the free service now to get started.
Several Election authorities have vote tracking available online.
You can find out:
- What is on my upcoming ballot
- Where is my Polling Place
- Where is My Early Voting site
- Who are My elected Officials
- What is My MAIL BALLOT STATUS
Vote Tracking Links for:
Cook County, IL — https://bit.ly/CookIL_VoteTrack
Chicago, IL — https://bit.ly/ChgoIL_VoteTrack
Kane (ballot tracking) — https://votekane.ballottrax.net/voter/
Kane also lists the ballot drop-off locations on their website
Peoria (ballot tracking) — https://peoriacountyvotes.ballottrax.net/voter/
For other Election districts, Contact your election authority.
Here is a list of their contact information:
Be Careful with Your Vote By Mail Ballot
The panel of elections may reject a Vote By Mail Ballot for the following reasons:
- The Ballot was delivered opened
- The certification envelope contains no signature
- The voter has already cast a Ballot
- The person voted in person on Election Day, or
- The person is not duly registered in the precinct.
If you register online to Vote By Mail, you will receive email notifications when:
- Your application is accepted
- Your ballot is mailed to you
- The Election Board receives your Ballot Return Envelope
- Your ballot has been processed and counted.
If you could not apply on time, did not receive your ballot, lose your ballot or Ballot Return Envelope, or cannot get your Ballot Return Envelope in the mail by Election Day, call 312-269-7967 on or before five days before Election Day to alert the Election Board that you have not received your ballot (Chicago). Or, you may use Early Voting, or cancel your mail ballot and instead receive and cast an Election Day ballot in person on Election Day at your designated polling place. If you have received a mail ballot but opt to vote in person, you must surrender your Vote By Mail ballot at the election site.
Those who wish to vote in person can avoid crowds by using early voting sites, which will be open earlier than usual this year.
The following guidelines were established in 2020. These will be updated as we get more current information. Illinois Department of Public Health Guidance for Early Voting and Election Day Health and Safety Protocols: Wear your mask, stay six feet away from others as much as possible, and thoroughly cleanse your hands after touching public spaces. We need to protect each other to the best of our ability, and if voting in person is the easiest for you, please take some extra steps to protect yourself and those around you.
There are currently no required mitigation strategies in place to prevent COVID-19 transmission, but the Cook County Department of Public Health still recommends wearing a mask indoors and staying up to date with all COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters.
Curbside Voting Election authorities may establish curbside voting for individuals to cast a ballot during early voting. At least two election judges, from opposite parties, are to be designated per vehicle, and the voter must have the option to mark the Ballot without interference from the election judges.
DO YOU HAVE SOMEONE TO HELP YOU VOTE?
Choose a family member, a friend, or someone you trust to support you to answer questions about registration and voting. After all, WE ALL NEED SUPPORT!!!
Make sure you SIGN your ballot envelope!
Election Day Voting
The Center for Disease Control established the following guidelines in 2020. They are no longer required, but strongly recommended. Wear your mask, stay six feet away from others as much as possible, and thoroughly cleanse your hands after touching public spaces. We need to protect each other to the best of our ability, and if voting in person is the easiest for you, please take these extra steps to protect yourself and those around you.
Election authorities may establish curbside voting for individuals to cast a ballot on Election Day. At least two election judges, from opposite parties, are to be designated per vehicle, and the voter must have the option to mark the Ballot without interference from the election judges.
In-Person Voting on Election Day
Your polling location is determined by your permanent address. You can find the location of your in-person polling place by clicking here: Click for Election Day Voting Locations:
ANSWERS FOR VOTERS WITH DISABILITIES
DISABILITY VOTER GUIDE: https://bit.ly/Arc_DisabilityVoterGuide_Eng
GUIA PARA VOTANTES CON DISCAPACIDADES: https://bit.ly/Arc_DisabilityVoterGuide_Spanish
What you Need to Know by the AARP: https://bit.ly/AARP_IL20
CHICAGO VOTER RIGHTS HOTLINE — (312) 269-7967
CHICAGO EMAIL — firstname.lastname@example.org
COOK COUNTY VOTER RIGHTS HOTLINE — (312) 263-0575
Kane (disability info) — https://www.kanecountyclerk.org/Elections/Pages/Voter-Assistance.aspx
Peoria (disability info) — https://www.peoriaelections.org/184/Voting-Assistance
Cook County, IL Disabled Voter Program
If you are permanently physically incapacitated and unable to make it your polling place, you qualify to automatically receive an application for a mail ballot before every election for the next five years. For more information, click here: https://bit.ly/CookDisabledVtr-Applcn
Nursing Home and Hospital Voting
The County Clerk’s office conducts voting at suburban Cook County nursing homes before every election. If you are admitted to a hospital, nursing home, or rehabilitation center fourteen days or fewer before an election, you may arrange to have a ballot delivered to you at the hospital. For more information, click here: https://bit.ly/CookNursingHosp-Vtg2020
EMAIL ILLINOIS ADA VOTING ADVISORY COORDINATOR: JORDAN HOMER at JHomer@elections.il.gov.
Transportation to the Polls for People with Disabilities
Pace’s fixed route bus and van fleets are all accessible to people with disabilities or health conditions, and the ADA Paratransit system and various local Dial-a-Ride programs offer service that is exclusively dedicated to the five county community which includes the Chicago metropolitan area.
In addition, all fixed route buses are accessible and route information is available the Pace website: www.Pacebus.com.
Some people with disabilities qualify for free fares on Pace, CTA and Metra.
Here’s the Link for Contact Phone numbers for paratransit in Chicago and the surrounding five county area: https://bit.ly/Pacebooking
Please be aware that Pace has reduced the $3 City of Chicago Taxi Access Program (TAP) fare to $2, effective January 1, 2023. Riders will still be responsible for any taxi fare amount over $30 and City of Chicago fees.
TAP is only available in the City of Chicago.
For more info click here: https://bit.ly/PaceTAP
The fare was previously free on TAP, but the last day for the waived fee was December 31, 2022 (usually $3.00 per trip).
This policy is in place indefinitely. If you aren’t yet enrolled in TAP, call 1-833-PACE-TAP (833-722-3827) to order a card.
IMPORTANT DATES AND EVENTS
Check our calendar regularly for new announcements and activities
Nov 30th, 2022
First Day to apply to Vote By Mail for Chicago’s February 28th Consolidated Municipal Election and other municipalities’ Primary Elections
Jan 19th, 2023
First Day for Vote By Mail ballots to be mailed to voters for Chicago’s Consolidated Election and other municipalities’ Primary Elections
Jan 19th, 2023
Early Voting Begins for Chicago’s Consolidated Election and other municipalities’ Primary Elections
Jan 31st, 2023
Deadline for Voter Registration by Mail for February 28th Primary (excluding Chicago)
Feb 12th, 2023
Feb 23rd, 2023
Application Deadline (Chicago only): Last day for the Board of Elections to receive new Vote By Mail Applications & Last Day to report that you could not apply on time, did not receive your ballot, lost your ballot or Ballot Return Envelope, or cannot get your Ballot Return Envelope in the mail by Election Day to 312-269-7967
Feb 28th, 2023
Last day for postmark on Ballot Return Envelope if returning by mail (Chicago only)
Feb 28th, 2023
Election Day for Chicago’s Consolidated Municipal Election, polls open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Feb 28th, 2023
Election Day for Consolidated Primary Election, (everywhere but Chicago)- polls open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Mar 7th, 2023
Deadline to register to vote by mail for non-Chicago Consolidated Municipal Elections (postmarked)
Mar 14th, 2023
Last day that a mailed Vote By Mail ballot (postmarked or certified Feb. 28th or earlier) may arrive at the Election Board to be included in the count (Chicago only).
Mar 19th, 2023
Deadline for Online Voter Registration
Apr 4th, 2023
Deadline to Register to Vote In Person
Apr 4th, 2023
Election Day- Consolidated Municipal Elections throughout Illinois (excluding Chicago)
Apr 4th, 2023
Chicago: Runoff or Supplementary Elections, if needed
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Our Votes Matter!
Strategy for Access Foundation NFP is a nonpartisan organization that encourages informed and active participation in disability issues. We offer the disabilityvoteil.org website as a community resource for all within the community. If you would like to support the continuation of this work please consider making a donation.