As early as 90 days before an election, any registered voters 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 an 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 the "Request a Ballot by Mail" button found on the Voter Power page to print, sign and mail your paper request. You will be prompted to enter your information in order to access the personalized portal which contains voting information specific to you. For more information, email VotingByMail@lakecountyil.gov or call (847) 377-2406.
Illinois law 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 45 days before the election if requested using the FPCA form as noted below.
Prior to each election three convenient programs automatically generate a ballot request form which is mailed to enrollees at the address specified:
Registered voters 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 our office.
Permanent Voting by Mail Program
This program is intended to simplify voting for voters who wish to receive an application for ballot to the address indicated and for the elections specified. Use the fillable enrollment form which can be printed, signed and mailed to our office. Enrolling helps our office gauge the number of voters who choose to vote by mail and, therefore, reduce increased printing costs from the three voting methods. This is not a one-time request form, but a program enrollment. You must be a registered voter in Lake County, Illinois to participate. Enrollment in the program remains in effect until you provide notification to cancel or your voter regsitration becomes inactive.
Military Voters and U.S. Citizens Residing Outside the Country
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) provides that all active 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, their family and U.S. Citizens residing outside the country may request a ballot by completing and submitting the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). Under this program, 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.
“Citizens of the United States temporarily residing outside the territorial limits of the United States” means civilian citizens of the United States and their spouses and dependents of voting age when residing with or accompanying them, who maintain a precinct residence in a county in this State and whose intent to return may be ascertained.
“Non-Resident Civilian Citizens” means civilian citizens of the United States (a) who reside outside the territorial limits of the United States, (b) who had maintained a precinct residence in a county in this State immediately prior to their departure from the United States, (c) who do not maintain a residence and are not registered to vote in any other State, and (d) whose intent to return to this State may be uncertain.
Please complete the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) and fax to (847) 984-5827 or mail to:
Lake County Clerk
18 N County St
Waukegan, IL 60085
Who May Receive Assistance When Voting by Mail
Only Illinois voters who are blind, physically disabled or unable to read or write the English or Spanish 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 individual attempting to influence the voter’s choice of candidates, party, 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.
By signing the certification oath on the ballot envelope, you promise that you personally marked the ballot in secret or directed the person providing assistance how to mark the ballot.