Voter Information


Voter's Bill of Rights

You have the right to:
  • Cast your ballot in a non-disruptive atmosphere free of interference.
  • Vote if you're in line by 7 PM.
  • Vote by provisional ballot if your registration is not found.
  • Vote at your old polling place if you have moved within 30 days of the election.
  • Request assistance in voting, if qualified.
  • Bring newspaper endorsements or sample ballots into the voting booth, but take them with you when you finish voting.
  • Protect the secrecy of your ballot.
  • Receive a new ballot if you make a mistake or change your mind.
  • Screen your ballot after voting to ensure it's complete and correct.
  • Have your ballot counted fairly and impartially.
If you believe these rights have been violated, call the Lake County Clerk's office at 847-377-2328.

What to Know Before Going to the Polls

  • All Election Day voting sites open at 6:00 AM and close at 7:00 PM. Registered voters can log onto to find the address, photos, and directions for your assigned Election Day voting site. 

  • Early Voting begins 15 days before Election Day. You can use any early voting site regardless of where you live. Some locations offer evening and weekend hours.

  • If you have difficulty physically entering either the early or Election Day voting site, you may want to take advantage of the voting by mail option. You only need to walk to your mailbox to receive and cast your ballot. Click here for online Voting by Mail application.

  • Curbside voting on Election Day is only available within 50 feet of the voting site's entrance. The Clerk's office must receive your request for curbside service no later than 5 PM on election eve. Call the Clerk’s office at 847-377-2406 for more information.

  • Voters who registered by mail on the Federal Registration form and do not provide sufficient proof of identity, must vote in person the first time they vote.

  • If did not receive your requested ballot by mail or the Clerk's office did not receive your mailed voted ballot, you will be able to vote early or on Election Day after signing the proper attestation form.

  • If you already voted early or by mail, you may not vote again on Election Day.

  • If you damage or mark your ballot incorrectly or change your mind about your ballot choices when voting by mail, early, or on Election Day, you may request a replacement ballot. A new ballot will be issued only after the spoiled ballot is surrendered to the election judges.

  • No ballot may be retrieved once it is placed in the ballot bin. If you have any questions about the correctness of your ballot, ask the election judges BEFORE you cast your ballot.

  • You should not use your cell phone to make calls in the voting site. Using a phone may distract other voters, delay the voting process, or depending on the exact conversation, may be considered electioneering.

  • Write-in votes will only count for candidates who have previously filed a proper Declaration of Intent to be a Write-In Candidate form with the Clerk's office.

  • Your ballot may be different than your neighbor’s ballot and will list only the candidates and issues for the districts serving your address. Boundaries for units of government, schools, parks, libraries, fire and water districts intersect and create many unique ballot styles.

  • Illinois does not have a political party registration system. In a primary election, voters are required to declare a party before receiving a partisan ballot. If there are referenda or public questions, nonpartisan ballots are available and contain no partisan candidates.

Optical Scan Voting

In February 2001, the Lake County Clerk's office converted to Optical Scan voting.

Is photo identification required when voting?

Illinois does not require a voter making application for a ballot on Election Day to provide identification when the voter’s signature on the application at the time of voting is found to match substantially the signature from the voter’s original registration record.
However, if a voter registered to vote by mail as provided under the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), identification is required the first time voting if no identification was provided with the mail-in registration form.

What if a voter’s right to vote is challenged?

A challenge is a legally provided remedy in the Illinois Election Code to preserve the integrity of the voting process and to protect a voter whose handwriting has changed since the time of registration. A challenge may occur in three circumstances:
  • When the voter’s signatures are substantially different. This challenge may be asserted by election judges, other registered voters in the voting site or poll watchers with valid credentials.
  • When the voter is believed no longer a resident at the address of registration. This may be asserted by election judges, other registered voters in the voting site or poll watchers with valid credentials.
  • When the belief is the voter is not the person he or she claims to be. This may be asserted by election judges, other registered voters in the voting site or poll watchers with valid credentials.
The most common requirement for verification of the voter occurs when a voter’s signature has changed. Election judges are charged with verification of all voters by comparison of signatures. This standard applies to signatures that change over time or due to disability, injury or physical limitation. When two judges find the signatures are not substantially the same, or when another basis for challenge occurs, the voter is required to:
  • Provide two forms of current (not expired) identification bearing the voter’s name and address of registration (e.g., IL driver’s license, IL state ID, vehicle registration, proof of insurance card, current utility bill, rent or mortgage bill, banking correspondence, FOID card. Note: Love letters, greeting cards and magazine subscriptions are not proof of residency).
  • Give sworn oath that the information provided is true and correct and that the voter is fully qualified to vote.
  • Provide a current signature for updating the permanent registration record to be used for comparisons in future elections.
The documentation of the challenged voter provides a clear audit trail for all candidates that the election was fair and free of improper voting. Final determinations of any challenge are made by election judges who may contact the County Clerk’s office when unsure of the determination process.

Once a challenge to a voter’s signature, residency or identity is made, if the challenged voter cannot provide the required identification or refuses to give the sworn oath, the voter may not cast a ballot. Challenged voters are eligible to be processed as a provisional voter, but will be required to provide an oath before receiving a provisional ballot.