Iowa and Illinois: When and where you can vote

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Here’s when and where you can cast absentee and in-person ballots in Iowa and Illinois.

In Iowa: 

Iowa voters are allowed to register and vote on election day, as long as you do so at the correct polling location associated with your current address on election day.  You must show proof of your identity and proof of residence.  Get details at this link:  http://sos.iowa.gov/elections/voterinformation/edr.html

In-person voting in Iowa:

Find your polling place at this link:  https://sos.iowa.gov/elections/voterreg/pollingplace/search.aspx

In Iowa, polls are open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. statewide.

Absentee voting in Iowa:

Someone who will be 18 years old by the date of an upcoming election may request an absentee ballot if he or she is pre-registered to vote.  http://sos.iowa.gov/elections/electioninfo/absenteemail.html

According to the Iowa Secretary of State’s website, “The request form must be received in the county auditor’s office by 5 p.m. on the Friday before the election.”

“After receiving a request form, the county auditor will mail the voter a ballot.”  In addition, “If the request is received so late that is unlikely the absentee ballot can be returned by mail in time to be considered for counting, the county auditor will enclose a statement to that effect with the absentee ballot.”

The site goes on to say, “You can return your voted absentee ballot by mail. The ballot must be postmarked by the Monday before election day or earlier and received in the in the county auditor’s office no later than noon on the Monday following the election.”

You may cast an absentee ballot in person at your county auditor’s office before any election.  You cannot cast an absentee ballot at your county auditor’s office or at a polling place on election day. 

If you have not returned your absentee ballot on election day, these are your options:

  1. Deliver your voted absentee ballot to the county auditor’s office before the polls close on election day
  2. Surrender your voted absentee ballot at the polls and vote a regular ballot
  3. Vote a provisional ballot at the polls if you cannot surrender your voted absentee ballot

In Illinois: 

The deadline to register to vote was October 9, 2012. 

In-person voting in Illinois:

Find your polling place in Illinois on the state election authority website at this link:  http://www.elections.il.gov/VotingInformation/RegistrationLookup.aspx

Polls are open on election day from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Illinois. 

Absentee voting in Illinois:

All absentee ballot requests by mail must be received by the Election Authority by 11/01/2012.  All in-person absentee ballot requests must be made by Monday, November 5, 2012. 

If you requested an absentee ballot you cannot be permitted to vote at a polling place on Election Day unless you surrender your absentee ballot, or fill out an affidavit stating you did not receive an absentee ballot or fill out an affidavit saying you returned a completed absentee ballot but the election authority did not receive it.  If you did not return the absentee ballot and don’t have it to surrender to the election authority, you are only eligible to vote provisionally.

Find your election authority in Illinois at this link:  http://www.elections.il.gov/ElectionAuthorities/ElecAuthorityList.aspx

More online in a brochure from the Illinois State Election Authority at this link:  http://www.elections.il.gov/downloads/electioninformation/pdf/absevote.pdf