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With more than $24 million spent on this race, the Chicago mayoral election remains close. With nine candidates running for the seat and a runoff likely on April 4, it will likely take some time before results come in.
One factor to watch for in the runoff election is the large number of uncounted mail ballots, which are expected to be counted soon. These late entries could make it harder for pollsters to identify candidates for the runoff election.
The city's vote-by-mail ballot program is available to all registered voters. In order to participate, you must fill out an application and be added to the permanent roster before sending it back by the deadline. Alternatively, you may elect to sign up for USPS informed delivery which will provide updates when your ballot is mailed and counted.
Mail-in voting is a convenient option for Chicagoans to cast their ballots without having to physically visit the polls. Additionally, it provides an accessible option to those living out of town or without close proximity to their polling place, giving them the power to cast their vote nonetheless.
If you have not yet registered to vote by mail, the Chicago Board of Elections offers a convenient service here. Be sure to do this at least five days before the election in order for your ballot to arrive on time.
When mailing in your ballot, you will be provided with a postage-paid envelope. You have two options: drop it off at your county board of elections office or send it back with the return address printed on it. However, please remember to postmark your return envelope by election day for it to count.
Furthermore, you must submit your application to the board of elections by February 23 in order to guarantee receiving your ballot on time. You may sign up for notification when your ballot is ready and counted by using this website.
Another option is to use a secure drop box or come in person and vote at an early voting location. These locations are spread out throughout the city and usually open two weeks before the election.
Many candidates are pitting Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the city's first Black female and openly gay mayor, against a fierce campaign that has targeted her record on public safety as well as her leadership style, which some contend is inflexible and out of touch with what her city needs.
Candidates running to replace Lightfoot include Paul Vallas, a former schools chief and law-and-order candidate with support from Chicago police union; Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, an U.S. congressman who successfully campaigned to force then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel to run for reelection; and progressive county commissioner Brandon Johnson with strong backing from CTU members.
With only one week remaining before Chicagoans cast their votes for mayor, there are still plenty of ways to cast an early ballot in this historic election. In addition to voting in person, registered voters can also sign up to join a permanent vote by mail roster that will send their ballots directly to their preferred address before each election.
Voters in Cook County may apply for a ballot either online or by sending it in the mail with no later than five days prior to the election. Once submitted, the election authority will either send or deliver their ballot directly to their home address or into one of 45 designated early voting locations nearby.
In-person voting is available at all 50 ward locations as well as the city's Election Supersite at 191 N. Clark St., open until 7 p.m. During early voting periods, voters can register to vote at select sites.
Voters who wish to cast their vote in person must present either a valid driver's license or state ID, utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other documentation displaying their name and address.
On the Chicago Board of Elections website, voters can find a list of acceptable forms of identification that is up to date. Furthermore, voters may bring notes to the polling place to indicate which candidate they wish to vote for.
Citizens living abroad or military personnel eligible to vote in Illinois can request an absentee ballot by contacting the Election Authority with their Illinois address or asking a parent, sibling, or spouse to do so.
For applicants who haven't lived in the state for six months or more, they can apply to be added to a permanent vote by mail roster and have their ballots sent directly to their home address. They also have the option of receiving a sample ballot by mail so they can compare it with what is received when they arrive at the polling booth on Election Day.
Tuesday, February 28, Chicago voters will head to the polls for a hotly contested election for mayor and City Council. Additionally, they can cast votes for police district council and various other positions on the ballot.
By Monday night, the Chicago Board of Elections had recorded 244,580 early and vote-by-mail votes in the city's municipal election. That figure is up 48.2% from last year's same period - an indication that Chicago is increasingly moving toward early voting, according to Bever.
Chicago voters who wish to cast their vote by mail can do so by filling out an application. However, the Board of Elections suggests submitting your request no later than Wednesday, March 20th in order to guarantee you receive and return your ballot before April 4th elections.
You may drop your mail ballot off at any early voting site or your Election Day precinct polling place, however any ballot postmarked Mar. 1 or later will not be counted, according to the Board of Elections.
Voting by mail can be a convenient option for those without access to polls or who cannot make it to their usual voting location. To register to vote by mail, you must present two forms of identification - one showing your current address and another showing a government document such as a driver's license or state ID. You can find an acceptable list of forms of identification on the Board of Elections' website.
Once you submit your vote-by-mail application, you can receive and return your ballot to a secure drop box at any early voting location or your Election Day precinct. Alternatively, it can also be delivered directly to the Board of Elections office at the close of polls on February 28.
The Chicago Board of Elections advises that if you elect to cast your vote by mail, do so at least two days before the elections. This ensures that you have ample time to receive your ballot, return it and cast your vote at the polls on April 4.
Chicago's Board of Elections reminds voters who elect to cast their ballot by mail that they must submit it by February 28. Additionally, if you have any queries or need help submitting your vote-by-mail application, call 1-888-907-VOTE for assistance.
Registered voters in Chicago can easily apply for an absentee ballot through the city's elections office online or by calling. There's no special reason required - just complete your application by February 23 to ensure you receive your ballot before the April 6th election! However, officials urge applicants to submit their requests early so they are guaranteed a spot in line for voting on time.
At the Chicago mayoral election, you have the chance to vote for a mayor and alderman as well as over 60 representatives on district councils who will work together to enhance policing and public safety throughout the city.
You can vote in a variety of local races and referenda, as well as on issues like school funding and taxation. All information regarding these elections and races can be found on the Illinois State Board of Elections website.
Registering to vote requires two forms of ID, including one that shows your current address. You can register in person at your local election authority or any county clerk's office within the state, or by mail.
Registration for voting is heavily governed by policies and laws at the federal, state and local levels. You can learn more about those regulations on our policy page.
Once registered, you can vote by mail, in-person at any early voting site, or on Election Day at your local polling place. Furthermore, you may apply to be added to a permanent vote-by-mail list which will guarantee you an automated ballot for every future election without needing an application beforehand.
Before casting your vote by mail, there are a few things you should know: that the ballot must be postmarked by Feb. 28 and delivered to a secure drop box at any Chicago early voting location or to the Election Board before polls close on that date.