As early as 90 days before an election, any registered voter in Illinois can submit a request to have a ballot mailed to them. However, the ballot cannot be mailed before an official request is received by the Clerk’s office. Requests can be made electronically (without a voter signature), or by signing a printed request form and mailing it to the election official. Warning: voters making E-request must supply an email address which state law makes available to political parties and campaigns.
If you wish to avoid your email being distributed, you may use Voter Power to print, sign and mail your paper request. You will be prompted to enter your information to land on the personalized portal for your voting information. Use the “Request a Ballot by Mail” button. For more information, email VotingByMail@lakecountyil.gov or call (847) 377-2406.
Illinois does not permit official ballots to be mailed more than 40 days before an election. If the finalized list of candidates is delayed, the date may be later. Ballots for military personnel and voters outside of the country may be mailed 5 days earlier as noted below.
Prior to each election two convenient programs automatically generate a ballot request form mailed to enrollees at the address specified:
Those who seasonally vacation outside their precinct can automatically receive a printed request for ballot by mail. Join the program using our online fillable enrollment form which can be printed, signed and mailed to us.
Available to students away at school, this program simplifies voting for students who are registered to vote and request the ballot at their school address. Enrollment is valid for two years and each summer our office confirms the student address at school for the coming year. Complete the enrollment form which can be printed, signed and mailed to us.
Military Voters and U.S. Citizens Residing Outside the Country
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) provides that all military, Merchant Marines, other uniformed services along with their eligible family members and U.S. citizens overseas may vote. The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) provides non-partisan information and assistance in the voting process.
Service members and their family may request a ballot by completing and submitting the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). Illinois law waives voter registration requirements, but the local election official must receive the FPCA ballot request no later than 10 days before an election
Persons not registered are eligible to vote by mail if they are:
- Members of the uniformed service or Merchant Marine on active duty, or an eligible spouse or dependent
- U.S. citizens residing outside the U.S. temporarily or indefinitely
Members of the Uniformed Services and their family members may request a ballot by completing and submitting the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) Illinois law waives voter registration requirements. To apply for a ballot by mail, the local election official must receive your FPCA ballot request no later than 10 days before the election
Who May Receive Assistance When Voting by Mail
Only Illinois voters who are blind, physically disabled or unable to read or write the English language may be assisted by a relative or friend. A voter's employer or agent, or officer or agent of the voter's union cannot provide assistance.
The voter and any person providing assistance to the voter, must read instructions below.
To the Person Assisting the Voter: The person assisting must mark the ballot exactly as directed by the voter. Any attempt to influence the voter’s choice of candidates, party, votes on public questions, or to mark the ballot other than as directed by the voter, may be guilty of a Class 3 Felony. If a voter does not express their intent, assistance cannot be rendered to mark the ballot in any way.
A voter’s instructions on marking the ballot may not be subsequently divulged. Those providing assistance must sign the certification section on the “Certification” envelope.
To the Voter: If you are physically unable to mark the ballot, a friend or relative, may assist you after completing the affidavit. Federal and state laws prohibit employers, employer’s agents, and officers or agents of a voter’s union from assisting in voting. State law prohibits a candidate whose name appears on the ballot (unless the physically disabled voter is the spouse, parent, child, brother or sister of the candidate) from assisting a voter.
Signing the certification oath on the ballot envelope promises that you personally marked the ballot in secret or directed the person providing assistance how to mark the ballot.