Voter's Bill of Rights
You have the right to:
- Cast your ballot in a non-disruptive atmosphere free of interference.
- Vote if you're in line by 7 PM.
- Vote by provisional ballot if your registration is not found.
- Vote at your old polling place if you have moved within 30 days of the election.
- Request assistance in voting, if qualified.
- Bring newspaper endorsements or sample ballots into the voting booth, but take them with you when you finish voting.
- Protect the secrecy of your ballot.
- Receive a new ballot if you make a mistake or change your mind.
- Screen your ballot after voting to ensure it's complete and correct.
- Have your ballot counted fairly and impartially.
If you believe these rights have been violated, call the Lake County Clerk's office at 847.377.2328.
What to Know Before Going to the Polls
- All Election Day voting sites open at 6:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m. Refer to Early Voting for hours and locations for voting during the 15 day period.
- If you are incapacitated, you may vote by mail or request curbside voting on Election Day. Call the County Clerk’s office at 847.377.2406 for more information.
- Voters who registered by mail on the Federal Registration form, and do not provide sufficient proof of identity, must vote in person the first time they vote.
- If you requested a ballot by mail, you may not cast a ballot on Election Day.
- If you vote early, you may not vote on Election Day.
- If you damage or mark your ballot incorrectly or change your mind about your ballot choices when voting a ballot by mail, you may request another ballot and must return the spoiled ballot. Similarly, on Election Day, you may request a new ballot before your ballot is deposited in the ballot counter. No ballot may be retrieved from the ballot bin.
- Cellular telephones should not be used in the voting site. Using a cellular telephone in the voting site may constitute electioneering, distract other voters or delay the voting process.
- Write-in votes will count only for candidates who have filed a Declaration of Intent to be a Write-In Candidate.
- Your ballot may be different than your closest neighbor’s ballot. Precinct boundaries and local government districts cannot always coincide and when they intersect, the ballots will contain different offices and candidates. Ballot styles are specific to those candidates and issues for which you are entitled to vote.
- Illinois does not have a political party registration system. In a primary election, voters are required to declare a party to vote on party nomination ballots. If there are referenda or public questions, nonpartisan ballots are available and contain no partisan candidates.
Optical Scan Voting
In February, 2001, the Lake County Clerk's office converted to Optical Scan voting.
How to Vote on an Optical Scan Ballot
How to Cast a Write-In Vote on an Optical Scan Ballot
Is photo identification required when voting?
Illinois does not require a voter making application for a ballot on Election Day to provide identification when the voter’s signature on the application at the time of voting is found to match substantially the signature from the voter’s original registration record.
However, if a voter registered to vote by mail as provided under the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), identification is required the first time voting. Any registered voter who votes early in person is required to provide a current (not expired) government issued photo ID prior to voting.
What if a voter’s right to vote is challenged?
A challenge is a legally provided remedy in the Illinois Election Code to preserve the integrity of the voting process and to protect a voter whose handwriting has changed since the time of registration. A challenge may occur in three circumstances:
- When the voter’s signatures are substantially different. This challenge may be asserted by election judges, other registered voters in the voting site or pollwatchers with valid credentials.
- When the voter is believed no longer a resident at the address of registration. This may be asserted by election judges, other registered voters in the voting site or pollwatchers with valid credentials.
- When the belief is the voter is not the person he or she claims to be. This may be asserted by election judges, other registered voters in the voting site or pollwatchers with valid credentials.
The most common requirement for verification of the voter occurs when a voter’s signature has changed. Election judges are charged with verification of all voters by comparison of signatures. This standard applies to signatures that change over time or due to disability, injury or physical limitation. When two judges find the signatures are not substantially the same, or when another basis for challenge occurs, the voter is required to:
- Provide two forms of current (not expired) identification bearing the voter’s name and address of registration (e.g., IL driver’s license, IL state ID, vehicle registration, proof of insurance card, current utility bill, rent or mortgage bill, banking correspondence, FOID card. Note: Love letters, greeting cards and magazine subscriptions are not proof of residency).
- Give sworn oath that the information provided is true and correct and that the voter is fully qualified to vote.
- Provide a current signature for updating the permanent registration record to be used for comparisons in future elections.
The documentation of the challenged voter provides a clear audit trail for all candidates that the election was fair and free of improper voting. Final determinations of any challenge are made by election judges who may contact the County Clerk’s office when unsure of the determination process.
Once a challenge to a voter’s signature, residency or identity is made, if the challenged voter cannot provide the required identification or refuses to give the sworn oath, the voter may not cast a ballot. Challenged voters are eligible to be processed as a provisional voter, but will be required to provide an oath before receiving a provisional ballot.