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Early Voting Is Now Open In All 50 Wards

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Chicago voting

In this March 2018 photo, Chicago resident Sonja Russell walks up to a voting machine to cast her ballot in Illinois primary elections in downtown Chicago.

Kiichiro Sato

Early voting for the Feb. 26 municipal election is now open in all 50 wards. With 15 days to go, Chicago residents are preparing to vote for the next mayor, city clerk, city treasurer, and their ward’s alderman.

So, how does it work? Jim Allen, spokesman for the Chicago Board of Elections, explains everything you need to know about early voting.

How to register to vote

  • Chicago residents may vote or register to vote for the first time at any early voting sites across the city through Feb. 25. Residents may also file a name change or change of address at the Loop Super Site or at any of the 50 ward sites. Here’s a list of locations.
  • You can also register on Election Day, but only at the polling place assigned to your home precinct.
  • To register, voters must present two forms of ID, one of which must show your current address.

How to vote by mail

  • Apply online for your vote-by-mail ballot by Feb. 21 at 5 p.m. Chicago voters may apply online or by submitting a hard-copy.
  • Voters should file vote-by-mail applications by the first week of February so they have enough time to receive and return ballots with a postmark on or before Feb. 26. 
  • The Election Board must receive the vote-by-mail ballots by March 12 to be included in the count.

Election Day

  • On Election Day, voters may cast ballots at their assigned polling place from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. You do not need an ID to vote if you’re already registered and voting in your assigned precinct. Find your polling place here.
  • If your vote-by-mail ballot was lost or did not arrive, voters may sign a "cancellation of Vote By Mail ballot affidavit" and cast a provisional ballot at the precinct and polling place for that voter's home address.

For more information on how to vote in the municipal election, visit

GUEST: Jim Allen, spokesman for the Chicago Board of Elections

LEARN MORE: Early Voting (Chicago Board of Elections)

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