First Step Toward Election Success – Registration!
By Chris Johnson
Self-evident, right? You can’t vote without being registered. But there are some pitfalls, and forewarned is forearmed. (This article is a practical guide, to ensure that you are allowed to vote on March 20. It does not address how to handle potential abuses that may be aimed at suppressing the vote. We will cover that topic in a future issue.)
If you are already registered:
Go online and check your registration status periodically at https://ova.elections.il.gov/RegistrationLookup.aspx, especially at times like this, when we are nearing an election. It is not unheard-of for voters who believe they are registered to arrive at the polls and find that the system does not show them as being registered currently.
If you are not registered, or need to change any of your information:
Lots of options, but different deadlines apply.
· In-person registration:
o Through February 20: At the DuPage County Election Commission, 421 N County Farm Road, Wheaton, or at some local government offices or libraries; click here for a list of those locationsin DuPage County.
o From February 21 – March 2: At the DuPage County Election Commission.
o From March 5 – March 19: At the Election Commission or any Early Voting Location; find a list of those locations here.
o On March 20 (election day): At your polling place.
o ID requirements for any in-person registration: Bring two pieces of identification, one of which must include your current address.
· Online registration:
You can register to vote online for the March 20 primary through March 4. Go to https://ova.elections.il.gov/ and fill out the online registration form.
o ID requirements: Be prepared with the following pieces of information to confirm your identity: IL drivers license number or Secretary of State-issued state ID number; date the license or ID was issued; last 4 digits of your Social Security number; birth date.
· Registration by mail:
Download a PDF registration form at IL Mail-In Registration – English, or IL Mail-In Registration – Spanish, or (for DuPage County residents) request one from the Election Commission office, 630-407-5600, 630-407-5631 (TTY), 421 N County Farm Road, Wheaton, IL 60187. Time is running short for this process for the March 20 primary, though – the form must be receivedat the Election Commission office by February 20.
o ID requirements: You must send a copy of a current and valid photo ID or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows your name and address.
Notes concerning ID on Election Day:
· Your Voter ID card does not constitute proof of current registration.
· If you registered by mail but did not send copies of the required identification, you must vote in person the first time after you register, and present the identification at your polling place. You may be asked to present two forms of identification.
· If you registered online, or even if you registered in person, and this is the first time you have voted since registering, be safe – plan to bring ID and proof of address.
· Once you are registered, ID is not required to vote (except as described above, after registration by mail). Remember, though, that on Election Day, your primary goal is to cast a vote. Bring ID to the polling place and present it if asked. You can report the improper request to a Democratic pollwatcher, and report it to the Election Commission after the fact. But be sure you get your vote in so that it can be counted.
For more information: Go to https://www.elections.il.gov/InfoForVoters.aspx, https://www.dupageco.org/Election/Voting/, or check out the helpful links on the DGTDO website, www.dgdemocrats.org.