Making Democracy Work


How do I register to vote? When is the next election? Where do I vote?

Downloadable General Election Information

Voter registration

For information on voter registration, contact the Board of Election Commissioners for the City of Chicago, 69 W Washington Street, Suites 600/800, Chicago, Illinois 60602, 312-269-7900.

To verify your registration, find your polling place and your districts and view sample ballots, go to or phone the above number.

On Line Registration is available: It is possible to register to vote (or change your address) on line in Illinois if:

The applicant has either an Illinois Driver's License or State ID.
The signature is used for the ballot application.
The applicant has a Social Security number
If the applicant supplies her/his email address (optional), Illinois election code requires election officials to provide this email information to campaign committees and political organizations.

Voters need at least two forms of identification, at least one of which shows the address for their new/updated registration.

Information on early voting and grace period registration sites may be found at

Register, then Vote!

Dates for November 2016 General Election

  • Aug. 10 - Nov. 3: Apply for mail ballot
  • Sept. 29 - Nov 7: Early voting at Board of Elections
  • Oct. 11: last day for regular voter registration
  • Oct. 23: last day for online voter registration at
  • Oct. 12 - Nov. 7: Grace Period registration (must vote at same time)
  • Oct. 24 - Nov. 7: Early Voting at selected sites
  • Nov. 8: Election Day (may also register and vote at polling place)

Where and when to vote

Please be aware that the location of your polling place may have changed because precinct boundaries were changed after City Council redistricting. Verify the location at

No ID is required for voting in the voter's home precinct on Election Day unless the voter is voting for the first time and has registered by mail without verification. This information would be indicated to the judges by the Electronic Poll Book.

November 2016 Ballot

What will be in the ballot for the general election November 8, 2016?

In addition to electing officials and voting on judicial retention, there will be several referenda on the ballot.

Offices on the ballot:

  • President/Vice President of the United States
  • U.S. Senator
  • State Comptroller (Vacancy/2-year unexpired term)
  • Representatives in Congress (all districts)
  • State Senators: 2-year terms in Districts 2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20 and 4-year terms in Districts 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 28.
  • Representatives in the Illinois General Assembly
  • Commissioners of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (3 for 6-year terms and 1 for an unexpired 2- year term)
  • Cook County Circuit Court Clerk
  • Cook County State's Attorney
  • Cook County Recorder of Deeds
  • Board of Review (Tax Appeals) Commissioners: District 1 for four-year term; District 2 for two-year term
  • Appellate, Circuit and Subcircuit Judges to fill vacancies
  • Yes/No questions on whether to allow previously appointed or elected judges to remain on the bench.

Illinois Constitution Binding Amendment

Whether to amend the Illinois Constitution to require that all transportation taxes (including vehicle licenses and titles, as well as government fees on different forms of transportation) be spent only on transportation projects (roads, highways, bridges, airports and mass transit) and related administration costs.

Cook County Binding Referendum

Shall the Office of the Cook County Recorder of Deeds be eliminated and all duties and responsibilities of the Office of the Cook County Recorder of Deeds be transferred to, and assumed by, the Office of the Cook County Clerk by December 7, 2020?

City of Chicago Advisory Referenda

  • 1. Whether the state should make gun trafficking a felony and require gun shop owners and employees undergo background checks.
  • 2. Whether the state should provide "full and equitable" funding to the Chicago Public Schools.
  • 3. Whether the city should work with state and federal officials on prioritizing infrastructure projects.

Debates/Voter Education


Monday, September 26 at 8pm(CT) is the first presidential debate. Lester Holt from CBS News is the moderator. The debate will be divided into six time segments of approximately 15 minutes each on major topics to be selected by the moderator and announced at least one week before the debate. Format is traditional question/answer with moderator choosing specific questions.

Sunday, October 9 at 8pm(CT) is the second presidential debate. Martha Raddatz from ABC News and Anderson Cooper from CNN are the moderators. Format is town meeting, "in which half of the questions will be posed directly by citizen participants and the other half will be posed by the moderator based on topics of broad public interest as reflected in social media and other sources." "The town meeting participants will be uncommitted voters selected by the Gallup Organization."

Wednesday, October 19 at 8pm(CT) Chris Wallace from Fox News is the moderator. Format will be identical to the first presidential debate.


Tuesday, October 4 at 8pm(CT) Elaine Quijano from CBSN (CBS' 24-hour streaming service) is the moderator. The debate will be divided into nine time segments of approximately 10 minutes each. Format is traditional question/answer with moderator choosing specific questions.

Video Voters' Guide: Starting October 10, you can go to OR

to watch 3 minute videos of candidates in contested races for Congress; Cook County State's Attorney, Clerk of the Court, and the Board of Review Commissioner for the 3rd District; and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Board. Candidates were filmed at the WTTW studio and were able to choose what they wanted to say during their 3 minutes. The Cook County League is partnering again with WTTW to provide voters this opportunity to learn more about candidates in the Nov. 8 election.

Referendum The Cook County League is urging all voters to VOTE "YES" on the binding referendum which asks whether the elected position of the Cook County Recorder of Deeds should be eliminated and all duties of the office transferred to the Cook County Clerk. This referendum will appear near the end of the ballot after all the judges.


The Chicago Tribune (

Sun-Times (

Vote for Judges ( bar associations' recommendations for judicial candidates.