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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. 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 an Illinois driver’s license.

If you don’t have an Illinois 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 18th, 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 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 in August, 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 October 29th, 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 3rd.

You can also vote early in person from September 22nd through November 2nd. 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 election day, November 3rd, 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 an ID with you as long as you provided one when you registered, but if you’re not sure, it won’t hurt to bring one of the 2 forms of ID I mentioned earlier just in case. Before you go 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 elections, besides the President.

You don’t have to vote for every single thing on the ballot for it to count, but those local elections really do matter, so it’s a pretty good idea to look at a sample ballot and do some research on the candidates and ballot measures first. You can even print it out or take a screenshot and bring it to the polls with you, so you can be sure you remember how you want to vote. One last thing: if you’re going to vote—open up your notes app or grab a piece of paper and make a plan.

Write down when and how you’re going to register, what time you’re gonna vote, how you’re gonna get there, what ID you’re going to use, even who you’re gonna bring to the polls with you. Having a plan is a great way to make sure that nothing unexpected stops you from voting on November 3rd. There will be links for everything you need to check your registration, vote early and find your polling location in the description.

Thanks for voting. How To Vote in Every State is produced by Complexly in partnership with The MediaWise Voter Project, which is led by The Poynter Institute and supported by Facebook.