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Check your registration status: https://ova.elections.il.gov/RegistrationLookup.aspx

Register online or update your voter registration: https://ova.elections.il.gov/

Information on early voting or “grace period” registration: https://www.elections.il.gov/votinginformation/earlyvotinglocations.aspx

Request a mail ballot: https://elections.il.gov/VotingInformation/VotingByMail.aspx

Find your polling location: http://www.elections.il.gov/VotingInformation/RegistrationLookup.aspx

Find your county election authority’s website (this is where you’ll find your sample ballot): https://www.elections.il.gov/ElectionAuthorities/ElecAuthorityList.aspx
[music]

Hello, Illinois!

If you want to vote, first you need to make sure you're registered. There's a link in the description where you can check your registration status right now.

So then you'll know! If you aren't registered, or if you've moved since the last time you voted, you can register online using the link in the description as long as you have a valid Illinois driver's license. If you don't have an Illinois driver's license- maybe you don't drive or you're a college student from another state- you'll go to the same registration website, but at the end, you have to print out the form and mail it in with another form of ID.

The deadline to register online or by mail is October 9th, but if you missed it, don't panic. You can still register in person all the way through election day by going to a "grace period" registration location in your county. There's a link to where you can look up the addresses of those locations below.

If you don't see any, it's probably because the deadline to register by mail and online hasn't passed yet. Don't worry, the sites get updated as election day gets closer. When you go to register in person, you'll need to bring two forms of ID with you: a photo ID of any kind, including student IDs, and a piece of mail that has your name and current address on it, like a bank statement, utility bill, or paycheck.

Even a copy of your lease will work. Once you're registered, you get to vote. Unless this is both your first time voting AND you registered by mail, anyone in Illinois can vote by mail, otherwise known as voting absentee, for any reason.

Starting August 8th, you can go to the link in the description to download a form, fill it out, and mail it to the address on the form to request a mail ballot. Illinois accepts mail ballot requests up until November 1st, but the sooner you apply, the sooner you get your ballot, and the longer you have to look it over and make your decisions. Then, all you have to do is mail your ballot back in so that it's received by November 6th.

You can also vote early in person from September 27th through November 5th. The hours and locations vary by county, so there's a link in the description where you can choose your county, and it will tell you when and where you can vote early. If you're voting on November 6th, polls are open from 6am to 7pm and you can figure out where to go to vote at the link in the description.

You shouldn't need to bring ID with you as long as you provided it when you registered, but if you're not sure, it won't hurt to bring the two forms of ID I mentioned earlier just in case. Before you go to vote, you can look at a sample ballot ahead of time on your County Election Authority's website. It'll tell you everything that you'll be able to vote for in the midterm elections.

You don't have to vote for every single thing on the ballot for it to count, but if you want a chance to do some research on the candidates in your local elections, it's a pretty good idea to look at a sample ballot first. You can even fill it out and bring it with you to the polls, so you can be sure you remember how you want to vote. One last thing: if you're gonna vote- open up your notes app or grab a pen and paper and make a plan.

Write down when and how you're going to register, what time you're gonna go vote, how you're gonna get there, what ID you're gonna use, even who you're gonna bring with you to the polls. Having a plan is the best way to make sure that nothing unexpected stops you from being counted on November 6th. There will be links for everything you need to check your registration, vote early, and find your polling location in the description.

Thank you for voting. [music]