Vote By Mail

Join the Vote By Mail Permanent Roster

You can always sign up for the vote by mail permanent roster. This ensures that you get mailed a ballot for all future elections. You can edit and opt out too.

Click Here to Join the Vote By Mail Permanent Roster

1. Apply to Vote By Mail

Applications to Vote By Mail for the November 5, 2024 Presidential General Election will be available starting August 7, 2024. 

When using the online application, please enter your first and last name (no middle name), full address (including Street Direction and Street Name in the designated fields) and zip code to proceed. Please do not leave any spaces before or after numerical value in the online form.

When you apply online to Vote By Mail, the Election Board will send you emails:

  • When your application is accepted,
  • When your ballot is sent to you,
  • When the Election Board receives your Ballot Return Envelope, and
  • When your ballot has been processed and counted.

You will receive an email when your ballot is mailed. All Vote By Mail ballots come with postage-paid Ballot Return Envelopes.

2. Mark Your Ballot 

When you receive your Vote By Mail ballot, follow all instructions that come with your ballot and be sure to vote in secret.

NOTE: When marking your ballot, use a felt-tip pen. Do not use a red pen, because red ink cannot be read by the ballot scanners.


3. Return Your Ballot 

The signed and sealed Ballot Return Envelope may be returned:

  • Through the U.S. Postal Service or a licensed courier
  • In a Secured Drop Box at any Chicago Early Voting location before Election Day or Vote Center on Election Day
    • NOTE: precinct polling places do not have drop boxes. 
  • By personal delivery to the Election Board at 69 W. Washington, Sixth Floor

Once a mail ballot has been returned to the Board, it cannot be retrieved or withdrawn. The same voter cannot vote in person in the polling place on Election Day unless he or she brings the mail ballot (or a portion of it) to the election judges OR completes an affidavit stating the mail ballot was never received by the voter or that it was received and lost.

Any Vote By Mail Ballot Return Envelope that is mailed, postmarked or certified on or before Election Day may be counted if it arrives within 14 days of Election Day.

NOTE: Any mail ballot that is postmarked after Election Day cannot be counted, by law. If a ballot envelope is placed in a US Postal Service box on or near Election Day, that envelope may be postmarked late and may not be eligible to be counted.


If you change your mind and want to vote in person

Voters may take the Vote By Mail ballot to any Early Voting site or their precinct polling place or nearest vote center on Election Day, surrender the ballot, and then vote on a new ballot. If you have not yet received your ballot in the mail, you will be asked to sign an affidavit form and then you will be allowed to vote.


Problems and solutions

If you: (a) could not apply on time, or (b) do not receive your ballot, or (c) lose your ballot or lose your Ballot Return Envelope, or (d) cannot get your Ballot Return Envelope in the mail by Election Day:

  • Call 312-269-7967 to alert us that you have not received your ballot
  • Use Early Voting
  • Cancel your mail ballot and receive and cast an Election Day ballot at the polling place assigned to your precinct or at a vote center on Election Day. If the voter has the mail ballot, that ballot should be surrendered to the election judges


Permanent Vote By Mail Roster

Voters may now join a Vote By Mail Permanent Roster and have their ballots sent directly to their address ahead of every election, either for All Elections or Non-Primary Elections.

Voters may use this online application to join or remove themselves from the Permanent Roster, as well change their mailing address and ballot preferences (Party, Language).

You may also click below to download, print, sign, and return to the Board a paper version of the Vote By Mail Permanent Roster application:


Military/Civilian Overseas Voters

Click here for more information on voting for members of the armed services and civilians living overseas.


Residents of Licensed Nursing Homes

Voters residing in licensed nursing homes will be offered the ability to Vote By Mail. Residents who are registered voters and who submit a Vote By Mail ballot application by the Thursday before the election are allowed to vote. For complete information on nursing home voting procedures, contact the Board at 312-269-7865.


Hospitalized Voters

A registered voter who is hospitalized not more than 14 days before an election may use this form to request that a Vote By Mail ballot be delivered in person to him or her in the hospital. An affidavit must be completed by the voter, his or her attending physician, and the relative (or registered voter of the same precinct) who delivers the Vote By Mail ballot to the hospital. Contact the Vote By Mail Department at 312-269-7967 for complete details on these procedures.   


Five-Year Disabled Voter's Identification (DVI) Card

A voter with a permanent physical disability or a qualified nursing home resident may request a Disabled Voter's Identification Card (DVI), which is valid for all elections during a five-year period. The voter is automatically sent a Vote By Mail application by the Board prior to each election. The voter must complete the DVI application and return it to the Board in order to receive a mail ballot.


When are the votes from Vote By Mail ballots and Early Voting ballots reported?

A: On Election Night, the Election Board will report unofficial results that include:

  • Votes from all ballots from Vote By Mail that were received and approved on or before the morning of the previous day.
  • Votes from all Election Day ballots cast in the precincts.
  • Votes from all Early Voting sites open as vote centers on Election Day.

Then, later-arriving Vote By Mail ballots (those that arrive and are approved the afternoon of Election Day or later), in addition to provisional ballots, will continue to be processed and added to the counts. Under a long-standing state law, election counts are not final and official until at least 14 days after Election Day to allow for all late-arriving Vote By Mail Ballots and all eligible provisional ballots to be included in the counts.


Falsifying Eligibility for Vote By Mail Ballots, Intimidation/Interference

It is a felony in Illinois to vote more than once in the same election or to attempt to vote more than once in the same election. Knowingly submitting false statements concerning identity or eligibility to Vote By Mail may be prosecuted under Illinois law (10 ILCS 5/29-10), a Class 3 felony. Any person who intimidates or unduly influences another person to cast a Vote By Mail ballot in a manner inconsistent with the voter's intent or who marks or tampers with a Vote By Mail ballot of another person shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony.

Voters are forbidden by law from using multiple voting systems (any combination of voting on Election Day, Early Voting and/or Vote By Mail) to change or undo a ballot for any reason, or to vote more than once. Attempting to vote more than once is a felony.