Early voting refers to a procedure implemented in Illinois for the first time at the 2006 General Primary Election which allows for registered voters to vote in person, in advance of Election Day without having to provide a reason or an excuse. Registered voters can vote early during the 40th day through the day prior to the election only at specific locations determined by the Election Authority. Please note that once a voter casts an early ballot, the vote cast is final and may not be revoked and the voter is not eligible to cast a vote on Election Day.
Early Voting for the March 19, 2024 General Primary Election, begins on Thursday, February 8th and ends on Monday, March 18th.
Schedule of office hours for Early Voting
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Vote by Mail
Many registered voters in Illinois, for various reasons, are unable to vote in person at the polling place on Election Day. Vote by mail is available prior to each election. This voting method allows registered voters to cast their ballots without having to go to the polling place. The ballots are then tabulated election night.
Interested persons must apply for a vote by mail ballot prior to the election by completing a vote by mail application. See When/How to Request a vote by mail ballot for more information.
Vote by Mail for the March 19, 2024 General Primary Election, ends on Thursday, March 14th. Please note that Thursday, February 8th is the first day to mail ballots.
Vote by Mail Voters Who Require Assistance
If you are physically unable to mark the ballot or unable to read or write the English language, a relative or friend may assist you in voting. Federal and State laws prohibit your employer, your employer's agent or an officer or agent of your union from assisting physically disabled voters. 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 physically disabled voter.
The person assisting MUST mark the ballot as directed by the voter. Individuals who make any attempt to influence the voter's choice of candidates, party or votes in relation to a public question, or the mark the ballot other than as directed by the voter may be guilty of a Class 4 felony. If the person assisting cannot tell the voter's intent, they must not mark the ballot in anyway or subsequently divulge the candidate(s) or public questions for whom the voter chose to cast a vote for or against.
If the voter receives assistance in voting his vote by mail ballot, the name and address of the person giving assistance must be placed on the ballot certification envelope.
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How/When to Request a Vote by Mail Ballot
How to Apply
The first step in securing a vote by mail ballot is to request a vote by mail application from the Sangamon County Election Office. This application may be completed and submitted electronically through our website or obtained in person at our office, located on the 1st floor of the Sangamon South Building, 300 S. 9th Street, Springfield, entrance is on 9th street between Monroe and Capital, or by calling our office at (217) 753-8683 or by printing out the vote by mail application filling it out, signing and then mailing back to the Sangamon County Election Office, 200 S. Ninth Street, Room 105, Springfield, IL 62701.
When to Apply
PLEASE NOTE: Vote by mail applications can only be made during a specific time period prior to each election. For vote by mail applications, applications can be submitted not more than 90 days nor less than 5 days prior to the election.
Military and Overseas Voters
Illinois citizens, who live overseas or are serving in the U.S. armed forces and will not be in their home county on Election Day, may register and vote by using the method outlined below.
Federal Voting Assistance Program
The Federal Postcard Application is a form provided by the Department of Defense to permit members of the U.S. armed forces, their dependents and U.S. citizens abroad to vote by mail and if necessary, to register to vote. This Postcard Application may be submitted by mail, fax (217) 753-6739 or by email (email@example.com).
For more information or to download the Federal Postcard Application, please visit www.fvap.gov. This site also provides state-by-state instructions which provides more detail on the procedures and applicable deadlines for submitting the Federal Postcard Application.
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Vote by Mail Instructions
You will receive with your ballot, a privacy sleeve that includes instructions. Please read and follow all instructions.
How to Cast Your Vote:
- READ the ballot carefully, noting the offices, the candidates’ names, the number to be elected and any propositions. Take note of the precinct information printed in the top right corner of the ballot and verify you have received the correct ballot for the precinct in which you reside. (This information can be found on your voter I.D. card or click here to Locate your Precinct )
- NOTE: If the ballot is two-sided, be sure to vote both sides.
- MARK the BALLOT in this manner:
- Select the candidate(s) of your choice.
- On the left opposite the name of each candidate is an oval.
- Using a BLACK INK PEN, completely darken the oval corresponding to the candidate(s) of your choice and the propositions (if any) of your choice.
- Any mark placed upon a ballot anywhere (including the designated voting area), which serves to identify and therefore distinguish it from other ballots, shall not be counted. A letter of the alphabet, an “X”, a check mark or other symbol are examples of an identifying mark. (In other words – ONLY darken the oval – DO NOT make any other marks on the ballot)
- You cannot erase or cross out a selection you have made. If you spoil (make a mistake), return it to the Election Office and request a new ballot.
- WRITE-IN CANDIDATES may be voted for by using the space provided as follows:
- Locate the blank line(s) below the last printed candidate name for each office.
- Write or print the name(s) legibly of your write-in candidate(s) on the blank line.
- Completely darken the oval corresponding to the left of the name(s) you have written in. Write-in votes will be counted only for candidates who have filed a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate.
- After You Finish Voting:
- Place ONLY your voted ballot within the PRIVACY SLEEVE FOR VOTE BY MAIL BALLOT. Important - Do not fold your ballot.
- Complete all applicable information and sign the CERTIFICATION ENVELOPE before inserting the ballot, which has been enclosed in the privacy sleeve and seal within the RETURN MAILING ENVELOPE.
- RETURN BY MAIL:
- Affix Postage amounting to a $1.87 to the RETURN MAILING ENVELOPE and be sure to complete return address information.
- Mail voted ballot (within privacy sleeve) immediately in the RETURN MAILING ENVELOPE. It has been pre-addressed to the Election Office
- RETURNING BY DEPOSITING IN SECURE DROP BOX AT ONE OF THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS:
- Sangamon County Complex, 200 S. 9th Street (South side of building on Monroe)
- Sagamon County Juvenile/Regional Office of Education - 2201 S. Dirksen Parkway
- Returning Your Ballot to the Election Office:
- The ballot may be returned to our office by mail, personal delivery, delivered by anyone the voter designates or by a company which is engaged in the business of making deliveries.
- If you are returning the ballot by mail, be sure to affix postage ($1.87).
- Authorizing somone else to return your ballot:
- It shall be unlawful for any person other than the voter or a person authorized by the voter to return your ballot.
- If you wish to authorize someone else to return your ballot, you MUST complete the BALLOT RETURN AFFIDAVIT section on either the Certification envelope (yellow) OR on the Return Mailing Envelope (white). The person you authorize to return your ballot must also sign the BALLOT RETURN AFFIDAVIT.
*NOTE: If you are returning a relative's ballot, please bring a photo identification in addition to the completed authorization form.
PLEASE NOTE: TO BE COUNTED, YOUR BALLOT MUST POSTMARKED NOT LATER THAN ELECTION DAY AND RECEIVED WITHIN 14 DAYS FOLLOWING ELECTION DAY.
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