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Illinois absentee ballot guide

Last updated: June 25, 2020
  • In Illinois, you can apply for an absentee ballot by-mail or in-person.

For the November 3, 2020 election, everyone who has voted at least once since 2018 will receive an absentee application in the mail. These applications will come with a pre-paid return envelope.

Absentee ballot deadlines

  • In-person: 1 day before Election Day
  • By-mail: Received 5 days before Election Day
  • Online: 5 days before Election Day
  • Voted absentee ballots are due: Postmarked by Election Day

Who can vote by absentee ballot in Illinois

Any registered Illinois voter may apply for an absentee ballot and vote by mail.

Apply by-mail or in-person

  1. Download and fill out the Illinois absentee ballot application.
  2. Sign and date your form.
  3. Mail or hand-deliver your completed form directly to your local election office. You should submit your form as soon as possible, but no later than the deadline.
  4. The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot by-mail is: Received 5 days before Election Day.
  5. The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot in-person is: 1 day before Election Day.

Your absentee ballot should arrive within a week of your application. If it doesn’t arrive, call your local election office and follow up.

Once your ballot arrives

  1. Once you receive your absentee ballot, carefully read and follow the instructions.
  2. Mail or hand-deliver your completed absentee ballot to your local elections office. Your ballot must be received by the deadline or it will not be counted.
  3. Your voted absentee ballot must be postmarked by Election Day.

Confused? Need help?

Contact your local elections office if you have any questions about absentee ballots in Illinois.